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SU APPOINTS NEW VICE-PRESIDENT EXTERNAL p.7

the issues facing CALGARY’S NEW COUNCIL VOL. 58 | ISSUE NO. 3 | November 2017

p.13

SPARRING CLUB TEACHES MARTIAL ARTS ON CAMPUS p.32

IN

INTERNATIONAL ANIMATION, LOCAL PERSONALITY AND PURE IMAGINATION p.24


STUDENT’S UNION

NOVEMBER 2017 Top 20

study spaces on campus, chosen by you.

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Complete listing of student events, concerts and more:

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Twitter: @GauntletUofC www.thegauntlet.ca Editor-in-Chief: Jason Herring eic@thegauntlet.ca 403-819-3453 News: Tina Shaygan news@thegauntlet.ca News Assistants: Daniel Huss Justin Schellenberg

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Opinions: Jesse Stilwell opinions@thegauntlet.ca Arts & Culture: Matt Hume arts@thegauntlet.ca

Editorial 4

Humour: Derek Baker humour@thegauntlet.ca

Amazon bids should be public

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Animation and imagination on

News

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A eulogy for the iPod

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Judge appointed SU VP external

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New Music: Destroyer, Tough

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U of C to follow in MRU’s footsteps,

Age, King Krule

introduce fall reading week 8

Photo: Mariah Wilson photo@thegauntlet.ca Digital: Nikayla Goddard online@thegauntlet.ca

Arts & Culture display at GIRAF festival

Arts Assistant: Thomas Johnson Sports: Christie Melhorn sports@thegauntlet.ca

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University, Students’ Union

Sports

clash over meal plan changes

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Sparring Club brings martial arts workouts to campus

Features

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Ease anxiety by grounding

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Six issues facing city council’s

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Campus club pairs students

Volunteer Coordinator: Trevor Landsburg volunteer@thegauntlet.ca

newest councillors

with children with disabilities

Graphic Artist: Samantha Lucy graphics@thegauntlet.ca

Opinions

Humour

Business Manager: Kate Jacobson business@thegauntlet.ca

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Calgarians voted for a council

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The A-to-Zed of Calgary’s

they can trust

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Encourage women to run in

Contributors: Devon Aggarwal, Joie Atrejia, Taylor Benn, Scott Christensen, Frankie Hart, Richelle Ho, Cristopher Joseph, Andrew Kemle, Evan Lewis, Ashar Memon, Lorena Morales, Teagan O’Connor, Justin Quaintance, Heather Robertson, Aisha Sajid, Barrett Schultz, David Song, Louie Villaneuva, Kent Wong, Rachel Woodward Golden Spatula:

Thomas Johnson

“Avril Lavinge’s seminal 2002 debut album Let Go is the pinnacle of human achivement.”

Hey hey you you! This month’s golden spatula goes out to our sk8er boi, Thomas Johnson. Sorry Noisey but you missed out, well tough luck, that boy’s ours now. We are more than just good friends — he’s our A&C assistant.

student politics Furor Arma Ministrat Room 319, MacEwan Students’ Centre University of Calgary 2500 University Drive NW Calgary, AB T2N 1N4 General inquiries: 403-220-7750 thegauntlet.ca The Gauntlet is the official student publication of the University of Calgary, published by the Gauntlet Publications Society, an autonomous, incorporated body. Membership in the society is open to undergraduate students at the U of C, but all members of the university community are encouraged to contribute. Opinions contained herein are those of the individual writers, and do not necessarily represent the views of the entire Gauntlet staff. Editorials are chosen by the majority of the editorial board. The Gauntlet is a forum open to all U of C

Amazon bid 41

Student falls asleep on CTrain, wakes up in alternate dimension

students but may refuse any submission judged to be racist, sexist, homophobic, libelous, or containing attacks of a strictly personal nature. We reserve the right to edit for brevity. Grievances regarding the Gauntlet follow a process that requires written decisions from the Editor and the GPS Board of Directors. The complete Grievance Policy is online at thegauntlet.ca. The Gauntlet offices are located on Treaty 7 land. The Gauntlet is printed on recycled paper and uses an ink made of calendars and commas. We urge you to recycle/lose sight of the forest for the trees using the Gauntlet. Letter Policy Letters must be typed, double-spaced and must include the author’s name, email address and title. Letters will not be printed if they include attacks of a strictly personal nature, statements that discriminate on the

basis of race, sex, or sexual orientation, or libelous or defamatory material. All letters should be addressed to “Editor, the Gauntlet,” and be no longer than 400 words. The Gauntlet retains the right to edit submissions. Letters can be delivered or mailed to the Gauntlet office, Room 319 MacEwan Students’ Centre, or sent by email to eic@ thegauntlet.ca. The Cover Design by Samantha Lucy Advertising The Gauntlet’s local and national sales are managed by FREE Media, an agency representing the campus press in Canada. View our Ad Sheet online for rates and publication dates. Questions about the Gauntlet’s ad policy can be directed to Ron Goldberger at 403-607-4948 or online at yyc@f-media.ca.

November 2017 | 3


Editorial

Details of cities’ Amazon HQ2 bids should be public

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he City of Calgary’s marketing team hit the streets of Seattle on the morning of Oct. 19 — the deadline for cities to bid on becoming home to the second head-quarters of tech giant Amazon. Winning will grant one city 50,000 jobs and over $5 million in capital investment. Calgary’s on-the-ground campaign included graffiti joking that the city would change its name — to Calmazon, or perhaps Amagary — and a 30-metre-long banner purporting that the city would “fight a bear” for the company. Though gimmicky, these stunts, coordinated by Calgary Economic Development, are tame compared to those put on by some of the other 237 cities vying for the corporate offices. New York City monuments lit up “Amazon orange,” while Stonecrest, a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, offered to literally change its name to Amazon and appoint the company’s CEO as its mayor. As bizarre and pathetic as some cities’ attempts to sway Amazon’s choice are, they only account for the public aspect of bidding for Amazon’s HQ2. In the company’s bid outline, they specify a “businessfriendly environment” and “incentive programs” like tax breaks as preferences that will drive their decision. And since cities’ bids are confidential, with some municipalities even signing non-disclosure agreements with Amazon, it’s impossible to know just what incentives they’re offering. The details that have leaked show a trend towards corporate welfare. The state of California may give $1 billion in tax breaks for Amazon, while New Jersey has proposed a staggering $7 billion. These offers are being made to a company that’s already worth over $500 billion — a number that will only grow. While Calgary can’t legally offer property-tax incentives to Amazon due to provincial laws, it’s unknown what incentives the city has put forward. Still, Amazon could bring thousands of jobs to a city still hin4 | The Gauntlet

Illustration by Samantha Lucy

dered by the recent economic downturn. Calgary has a staggering amount of vacant office space downtown, leading to a deficit in property taxes from would-be tenants and a difficult budget to balance. Plus, the city fits many of Amazon’s criteria well, only missing a direct flight to Washington D.C., which WestJet says is a possibility. Governments should never conceal how public money is spent, but Amazon is forcing them to. Though Calgary absolutely needs to at least try to attract Amazon, concealing the bid should not have been an option. A winning bid also doesn’t end at its submission. Once a company like Amazon is in town, they’ve got a lot of leverage over the city in terms of future benefits. In fact, many argued at the time of Amazon’s HQ2 announcement that it was a way to gain more from the home of their first headquarters, with Seattle officials quickly responding to the announcement that they were planning to “begin conversations with Amazon around their needs.” We don’t have to look far from home for an example of this, with the Cal-

gary Flames using threats to leave town as a negotiating technique for a team-friendly arena deal. It’s also worth noting that Amazon isn’t without their share of controversies, ranging from squashing efforts by staff to unionize to appalling working conditions that have landed the company in hot water time and time again. Despite the general shadiness of governments making private bids to a halftrillion dollar organization, cities don’t have much choice about participating. The benefits that companies like Amazon can bring to a city are huge and for places like Calgary that are facing serious economic downturns, saying no to that kind of possibility would be downright irresponsible. But it’s important to remember that the public groveling of guerrilla or social media marketing campaigns is little more than a front for the confidential offers Calgary and others are making to a massive corporation. Jason Herring Gauntlet editorial board


News

Around campus this October Recap by Ashar Memon Photos by Mariah Wilson

Multi-ward advanced voting stations were open to students in the Taylor Family Digital Library from Oct. 4–6. Calgary saw its highest municipal voter turnout in 40 years with 58 per cent of eligible Calgarians casting their ballot on Oct. 16, with many of those votes coming at advanced polling stations. On Oct. 16 Naheed Nenshi was re-elected for a third term as mayor, capturing 53 per cent of the vote while runner-up Bill Smith garnered 44 per cent. Incumbent councillor Druh Farrell won in Ward 7, the ward in which the University of Calgary is located. Students, staff and faculty members at the U of C now have access to a sexual violence support advocate, as Carla Bertsch takes on the newly created role. The position is meant to be the first point of contact to provide support for those who have experienced sexual violence. Results for the Students’ Union byelection were announced on Oct. 13, filling four vacancies for representatives on the senate, the faculties of medicine, education and social work. A representative for the faculty of veterinary medicine will be chosen by

the SU Nominations Committee, as no one ran to fill the position. The byelection had a voter turnout of five per cent, with 1,284 students casting their ballots. A research team at the U of C is using footage submitted by the public to track down a fallen meteor. After a call to the public earlier this summer, geoscience professor Alan Hildebrandt and his research team say they are close to tracking down the crash site of the fallen meteor somewhere over British Columbia, Alberta or Saskatchewan. In a new 112–page report, the Canadian Association of University Teachers asserts that the U of C compromised academic freedom and integrity through its relationship with energy company Enbridge. The U of C administration denies wrongdoing, and both the University and the SU said they consider the matter closed while the school’s Faculty Association is calling for the provincial government to look more closely into the matter. The SU has indefinitely postponed the creation of an LGBTQIA+ advisory board due to a lack of student interest. Only one person

applied to sit as one of the two students-atlarge required for the board. Coca-Cola will be the U of C’s exclusive cold-beverage provider for at least the next five years, after the University’s 10year exclusivity agreement with Pepsi expired this year. The SU’s Teaching Excellence Awards nominations closed on Oct. 27. These studentled awards honour professors and teaching assistants who have made a positive contribution to campus and students’ lives. Applications for the 11th annual Undergraduate Research Symposium closed on Oct. 25. The event is meant to showcase work done by undergraduate researchers at the U of C. SU vice-president academic Tina Miller said she plans to set up focus groups in the winter semester to gather feedback from participants. The U of C unanimously ratified its Indigenous Strategy at the Oct. 20 Board of Governors meeting. There will be an official launch event in November to celebrate the new strategy. November April 2017 | 5


News

SLC unanimously appoints arts rep to vacant VP external position

Story by Tina Shaygan Photo by Mariah Wilson

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tudents’ Legislative Council voted unanimously to approve Faculty of Arts representative Puncham Judge as the new vice-president external on Oct. 24. This came after Shubir Shaikh resigned from the position earlier in the semester due to personal reasons. According to Students’ Union bylaws, a vacant executive position must be filled by a current member of SLC — recommended by Nominations Committee — if the vacancy comes up past the deadline for nomination in the byelection. In the Oct. 17 meeting of SLC, the first reading to appoint Judge as the new vice-president external passed unanimously when Nominations Committee’s recommendation was brought forward. Judge is a fourth-year political science

6 | The Gauntlet

student and previous meeting documents cited her community involvement and schedule flexibility as reasons the Nominations Committee recommended her to fill the position. The documents also added that the burden of work on the other four executives indicated a sense of urgency in finding a replacement vicepresident external. During the brief debate period at the Oct. 24 SLC meeting, Judge was asked why she applied for the position and what her platform would entail. Judge responded that she would follow Shaikh’s platform points. “Mr. Shaikh was someone that I worked closely with during the campaign season and he was also my elected official lead,” Judge said. “I am fairly familiar with the platform goals that he had and what he wanted to accomplish in his term.” Judge added that she was excited to start advocating for students and was strongly

considering running for the vice-president external position in the 2018 SU general election in March. “This is what I wanted to do next year so I’m getting ahead of myself by six months. With the six months period, I can use it to solidify what I want to do next year if I were to run,” she said. “I think this is really beneficial to have under my belt in the general election next year.” SU vice-president operations and finance Ryan Wallace, who chairs Nominations Committee, said he is confident in Judge’s abilities to fulfil the position’s requirements and will collaborate closely with her as she transitions into the new role. Judge’s approval has created a vacant arts representative position. The position will be filled through applications via the Nominations Committee, who are also looking to fill the vacant veterinary medicine representative position.


Former U of C students address domestic violence with non-profit Story by Nikayla Goddard Photo by Mariah Wilson

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he Sat Rang Foundation — a non-profit organization with the mission of bringing light to issues of domestic violence in South Asian communities in Calgary — was created by Tonie Minhas and Amandeep Kaur Singh, Calgarians who spent time at the University of Calgary and the surrounding area working with community development and social justice. Minhas graduated

from the U of C with a political science degree in 2015 and Singh spent her first two years of her natural science undergraduate degree at the U of C before finishing at the University of Alberta. Founded in August, the non-profit organization aims primarily to provide South Asian and Middle Eastern groups in Calgary with access to culturally relevant resources that may not otherwise be available. Minhas and Singh conducted focus groups over a year ago in order to form the

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vision for the organization. According to Minhas, Sat Rang — which means “seven colors” in Punjabi — serves as a “symbol for diversity and ethnicity.” Minhas explained that she and Singh both have relevant background experience ranging from working with the Calgary Police Service to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta as well as with family violence in Calgary. “We were able to individually, as we were working, start to recognize a lot of gaps, because there was really no safety net in place for folks that were struggling with even something as simple as a language barrier,” Minhas said. “The two of us were introduced by a mutual friend and the idea spurred from there.” An example of the type of service Sat Rang provides is creating how-to guides in different languages, such as Arabic or Punjabi, explaining what to expect when someone calls the police, showing how and where to report domestic violence and providing information on sexual education, drugs and alcohol. Singh said that developing community partnerships with other relevant organizations is essential to provide a safe and inclusive space where people can learn to advocate for themselves as well as others. “Until we start talking about topics like family violence they’re just going to stay under the covers,” Minhas added. “Everyone seems to think it’s an individual’s issue, so until we start talking about it those that need help the most are not going to be able to get it.” More information about the Sat Rang Foundation can be found on their Facebook page, which provides updates on their services and contact information. November 2017 | 7


News

Student advocacy group sets sights on deferred campus maintenance

Story by Daniel Huss Photo by Mariah Wilson

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he Council of Alberta University Students (CAUS) is making growing maintenance debt an advocacy priority. Deferred maintenance debt at the University of Calgary has grown from under $100 million in 2000 to nearly $487 million in 2016. Deferred maintenance is repair work on campus delayed for future budgets. In November 2016, the Gauntlet reported student concern about deferred maintenance, primarily in Craigie Hall. Students’ Union president Branden Cave said he’s heard students raise concerns about maintenance issues during his run for office, such as issues about the Scurfield Hall washrooms. “It’s just little stuff that happens in our labs and in our classrooms,” Cave said. “If we want to bring the best and brightest students and keep the best and brightest students here, we need to make sure we have facilities that address that.” Cave and other student leaders in CAUS

8 | The Gauntlet

are looking to the provincial government to help address the issue. “It’s been added to the CAUS priorities to make sure that with the funding framework review that the provincial government is undertaking currently, they look at a way of accelerating and addressing the issue,” he said. The provincial government addresses maintenance and infrastructure in Alberta post-secondaries through multiple streams. The Ministry of Advanced Education collaborates with Alberta Infrastructure to work on capital projects such as the Schulich School of Engineering Expansion Project and the MacKimmie and Professional Building Redevelopment. The MacKimmie project will see $262 million coming to U of C by 2021. The U of C also receives funding from the Infrastructure Maintenance Program (IMP) to help address deferred maintenance issues. Last year, the U of C reported receiving $11 million from the IMP. Cave said he recently spoke with the U

of C Facilities department to learn about the situation. “They spend about $22 million a year on deferred maintenance,” Cave said. “That’s about 44 per cent of what they need to actually be able to address it within a year. They’re looking at between $40 and $50 million to be able to adequately address deferred maintenance.” Cave said that for him, it’s about finding an approach that addresses the needs of students as well as administrators. “If we’re advocating for a deferred maintenance fund, we’re advocating for support for campus infrastructure,” Cave said. “At the same time, if we’re not advocating for student space prioritization, we’re not really fulfilling the purpose and making sure that student space on campus is being impacted.” The U of C is not alone in increasing deferred maintenance costs. A 2014 study found that 51 institutions across Canada share over $8 billion in deferred maintenance. The U of C could not be reached for comment.


University of Calgary to follow in MRU’s footsteps with week-long fall reading break starting in 2018

Story by Tina Shaygan Photo by Mariah Wilson

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tudents at the University of Calgary can look forward to a week-long fall reading break starting in 2018, according to Students’ Union vice-president academic Tina Miller. “We’re working to improve the mental well-being of students,” Miller said. “One of those steps is to give students the chance to take that mental breather and to have the chance to study and catch up on assignments.” In order to accommodate a full-week break, orientation for new students is being reduced to two days, while block week is being moved to late August. Miller added that in the most recent annual SU survey, 76 per cent of students said they would support a full-week break in the fall. Second-year engineering student and previous orientation leader Ahsen Imran said he supports reducing orientation days for a full-week break in the fall. “What I did notice was that some students, they attend completely the whole

day for the first two days, and after it gets less and less,” he said. “Most students just want to take the last few days for themselves just to see university.” Third-year Haskayne student Diana Shi added that she also supports a full-week fall break after her experiences at the University of Alberta. “I found the whole week really useful. It really allowed you to de-stress, catch up, you know. Kind of re-centre yourself,” Shi said. At Mount Royal University, fall reading break has been moved to October instead of November in order to accommodate a full-week break. MRU students had a break Oct. 10–13 this year for the first time, Students’ Association of MRU vice-president academic Cordelia Snowdon said the idea of a full-week break has been around for awhile as SAMRU worked on finding dates that worked with instructional days. She said there was a lot of support for a full-week break from both MRU students and faculty. “With how the calendar falls, October was the easiest to accommodate,” Snowdon said. “It is similar to the winter break

if you’re not counting exam days. It’s pretty much in line with it.” Snowdon added that MRU students will now start classes on the first Tuesday of September. She also said that she will be looking for feedback as this is the first year an October full-week break has been implemented, but that she has already heard positive stories regarding its impact “It was beneficial to deal with a lot of higher-level issues. So, not just getting caught up with courses but also applying for grad school, other things,” she said. “I heard from academic advisors that students were able to plan meetings so they could plan out their courses and find out more information. It really offered people a chance to take care of some of those issues.” Both MRU and the U of C are also experimenting with changing the name of reading breaks. “Calling it a reading break, people assume it’s just for homework,” Snowdon said. “I’m getting feedback on how the term impacts the use of it.” November 2017 | 9


News

U of C, Students’ Union clash on residence meal plan consultation Other proposed changes would see the Story by Tina Shaygan and Daniel Huss a reduction of Food Funds while seeing an Photo by Cristopher Joseph

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esidence students, take note — the University of Calgary is considering changes to the Campus Meal

Plan. Students’ Union vice-president student life Hilary Jahelka said the proposed changes include turning the Dining Centre into a buffet-style service called a board meal plan. The meal plans residence students currently purchase provide them with two accounts they can use. Meal Plan Money and Food Funds. Meal Plan Money is primarily used at the Dining Centre, while Food Funds can be spent at a variety of other campus vendors. All first-year students living in residence must buy a meal plan. “It is a program where when students come in, they just swipe [their UCID] and it’s an all-you-can-eat kind of thing,” Jahelka said. The U of C Board of Governors will vote on the proposed changes in December. “Some of the positives of this are that they’re promising increased quality in food, which is a good thing because right now students are not satisfied with the quality of food at the Dining Centre,” Jahelka said. 10 | The Gauntlet

increased cost to students and requiring

students to stay at the Dining Centre with their meals, unless they have pre-ordered take-out.

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“It really inhibits student’s autonomy with where they choose to spend their money and get food from,” Jahelka said. She added that some other schools use board meal plans and the proposed price would be similar to these institutions. Jahelka expressed concerns about the lack of student consultation regarding the proposed changes. “The SU’s concerns regarding the meal plan are the lack of student consultation and the lack of autonomy that students have with it because they are cutting flex dollars,” she said. The U of C declined an interview in response to these concerns but provided information through email. According to the email, Food and Conference Services conducted face-to-face consultations from April 3–7 in the Dining Centre, speaking to a total of 164 students. “Given the complexity of the topic, face-to-face informative dialogue and discussion is more effective,” the email read. The U of C added that Food and Conference Services consultations involved several questions, such as which meal

plan the students were on, what year they were in and if they had any feedback on the current meal plan. According to the email, they also shared with the students “key insights from other Canadian universities and the success they experience on ‘All You Care to Eat’ programs available through food service providers” and ultimately asked if they supported an ‘All You Care to Eat’ program. The email stated that of the 164 students, 140 said they liked the idea, 16 said they did not and eight provided no answer. The Gauntlet surveyed 38 students in the Dining Centre. Among them, only two had heard about the potential changes to the meal plan. Second-year Haskayne School of Business student Lane Burton had concerns about changes to cost and convenience. “The choices aren’t very consistent as it is,” he said. “Having the ability to grab a to-go-box and just leave and go back to my room and study or something along those lines is really important to me.”

Brayden Laurie, a first-year anthropology major, welcomed the change to a buffet style. “I know a lot of people are against it, but I think that it would be better,” Laurie said. Jahelka said concerns regarding a reduction in Food Funds and the lack of choice on where students spend their money were brought up last year by the SU and the Residence Students’ Association. “While there may have been some consultation, we feel as if the stuff we have brought forward hasn’t been addressed,” she said. “We’re still getting students coming to us who are very upset.” Jahelka added that she felt the number of students surveyed in the Dining Centre does not accurately represent students living in residence. “There should have been surveys sent out or something with a larger reach,” she said. Residence Students’ Association president Scott Johnston declined an interview. The U of C Board of Governor will vote on the final changes in December.

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News

Fifth-annual Outrun the Stigma event raises over $30,000 at U of C

Story and photo by Justin Schellenberg

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he University of Calgary was host to the fifth-annual Outrun The Stigma (OTS) walk and run on Saturday, Oct. 14. OTS is a non-profit organization that aims to bring awareness to and confront stigma surrounding mental illness. OTS Calgary chapter co-chair Tina Guo said the event had over 200 participants in the 5K and 10K walk and run. “We’ve broken a lot of the records that we wanted to break,” said Guo. “We’ve raised over $32,000, which is by far the most that we’ve raised in any given year.” The Calgary chapter of OTS raises

12 | The Gauntlet

money to support the Calgary Distress Centre, a free 24-hour crisis intervention service. The run and walk were followed by a mental health expo on the quad outside the Taylor Family Digital Library, which involved groups such as the Women’s Resource Centre, Calgary Pride and the Students Against Domestic Abuse Association. Students’ Union president Branden Cave took part in the 10K run. SU vicepresident academic Tina Miller, SU arts representative Sumaira Islam and Faculty of Arts dean Richard Sigurdson also participated. “This is my third year now doing it and it’s always been a fantastic experience,” Cave said. “We raised a little bit

of money within the Students’ Union. As much as we can to help.” The winners of the 10K run were Hunter Brett, Nash Hayward and Lucas Tiberio, three U of C alumni who crossed the finish line as a team. All three said they participated to help fight against the stigma surrounding mental health after being affected by it in various ways. The team added they were successful in their fundraising efforts, raising over 300 per cent of their initial goal. “We all want to bring awareness to [mental health stigma]. We all know someone affected by it.” Tiberio said. “A big part of finishing together is it brings awareness that you can’t do this alone, and we have to do it together to end it.”


T h e t a s ks fa c in g t he n ew est m e m b e rs o f c it y c o u n c il T

Story by Jason Herring. Illustrations by Samantha Lucy

hroughout Calgary’s 2017 municipal election, the pervading narrative was one of change. Early polls suggested that Bill Smith, not incumbent Naheed Nenshi, led the pack in the mayoral race, while many candidates vying to unseat an established councillor focused more on their opponent’s weaknesses and the city’s desire for change than their own strengths. But when voters went to the polls on Oct. 16, things largely stayed the same in city council. Every incumbent who ran for reelection won, meaning that only four new faces — Jyoti Gondek in Ward 3, George Chahal in Ward 5, Jeff Davison in Ward 6 and Jeromy Farkas in Ward 11 — will sit on council this year.

“You didn’t see a dramatic shift one way of the other,” said University of Calgary political science professor Jack Lucas. “As we learn about these new councillors, we’ll better understand which policy areas are going to look different and which are going to pretty much remain the same.” Even though council didn’t undergo sweeping change this election, the new voices will have the opportunity to alter the balance of city council and influence policy and city services. In order to get a better idea of how those new councillors will fit into City Hall, we talked to each of them about six issues they will likely face over the next four years to find out what ideas they bring to the table. November 2017 | 13


D

CALGARY TRANSIT

iscussions about Calgary Transit during the election largely centred around already-secured projects, like the Southwest bus rapid transit route on 14th St. or the first phase of the Green Line LRT. Now that the election is done, the city’s new councillors placed their public transit priorities largely within their own wards. The southwest BRT passes through Farkas’s ward. The young councillor has already vowed to reevaluate the transit route, which is nearing the end of its first phase of construction. Lucas says Farkas will need help to hold an audit on the ongoing project. “Farkas can’t stop anything by himself. He’ll have to build a coalition on council to do that, if he’s going to do it at all, but he’s certainly going to try,” Lucas said. “That’s going to make for some politics around the Southwest BRT, for sure.” Beyond that, Farkas lists his long-term transit goals as pursuing a train link to the airport and introducing electronic fare payments. “It’s technology that allows us to tap and go so that the city can get information about where trips are beginning, where they’re ending, who’s using transit, what time of day and so on,” Farkas said. “All of this comes together to make our spending decisions on transit a lot more cost-effective and so that we’re deploying our resources to the maximum benefit.” Calgary Transit first announced plans for an electronic fare payment system in 2009. The city contracted Schneider Electric to create the “Connect” fare payment system twice, calling off the deals in 2012 and 2015 after the company was unable to produce a working product. Edmonton is currently looking into a similar service, while cities like Vancouver and Seattle have used electronic fare payment systems for years. Other council newcomers also said they wanted to make sure transit routes are connecting patrons in the best manner possible. Davison raised concerns about the effect the west Blue Line LRT has had on his ward since its opening in 2012. “It took away a lot of direct busing routes that we had. Now instead of people from Coach Hill going directly on a bus to go downtown, they have to take a bus to a train,” he said. “It affects how a lot more of those people are choosing to drive downtown, since they don’t need the extra 25 minutes added to the commute for them.” Gondek and Chahal both noted the importance of the Green 14 | The Gauntlet

Line for their north communities. Gondek said it’s vital that the new train line gets finished in earnest, instead of only up to 16th Ave. as is initially planned. “For my ward it’s the Green Line not coming north in the first phase. It’s devastating for our communities,” she said. “We have demonstrated strong ridership over time, to the point where even our students in our public school system are being taken off yellow buses and being put on public transit. To not get the next logical upgrade was disappointing.” Lucas expects to see Gondek, as well as Ward 12 councillor Shane Keating, push to have the first phase of the Green Line extended. “They’re going to work really hard to try to figure out if there is room in the existing budget to get a couple of extra stops, either north or south, out of the current Green Line budget,” Lucas said. “I think Keating is planning, for example, to try to propose that when they put out a call for proposals, that the length of the line be one of the competitive pieces of the bid process.” During the election, the Alberta provincial government said they would reconsider their portion of funding for the Green Line if Calgary dramatically reworks the project.

WATER FLUORIdATION

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n 2011, city council voted to remove fluoride from Calgary’s water supply, a charge led by Ward 7 councillor Druh Farrell. The change was controversial at the time, with council voting 10–3 to discontinue water fluoridation after voting against bringing the issue to a plebiscite earlier in the same day. When that decision was made, Cumming School of Medicine researcher Lindsay McLaren began focusing her research on water fluoridation. “I hadn’t really thought a whole lot about fluoridation before then, but for various reasons it struck me as a great research opportunity to start to explore whether the decision to stop fluoridation would have any implications for children’s tooth decay,” McLaren said. “We’ve done a number of studies but the biggest one was the short-term evaluation of the implications of stopping fluoridation for children’s dental cavities in Calgary.” McLaren was the lead author of that study, published in tandem with researchers from the University of Alberta and Alberta Health Services. The study compared children in Edmonton,


which still fluoridates its water, to those in Calgary. It found a more severe increase in tooth decay among Grade 2 students in Calgary since fluoride was removed from the city’s drinking water in 2011 than students the same age in Edmonton. Returning councillors Peter Demong and Diane Colley-Urquhart asked council to review the study and reopen the debate on water fluoridation, but the motion failed 9–5. Among the new councillors, Davison said he thought council shouldn’t be making decisions on the polarizing issue and advocated for the issue to go to a plebiscite. Chahal and Gondek both said they needed more information before they’d be willing to take a stance on water fluoridation. “I’m not waffling, but I do need to see the research that clearly demonstrates that water fluoridation is the best way forward,” Gondek said. Farkas came out fully in support of water fluoridation, saying it was wrong for council to discontinue the practice without adequate citizen consultation and advocating for a plebiscite. “I strongly would support water fluoridation,” Farkas said. “In my time working at the Faculty of Medicine at the U of C, I was exposed to research that suggested it was a safe and cost-effective way to address dental health, especially in children and those living in poverty.” McLaren said that opponents of water fluoridation can typically be placed into three groups — those who are skeptical of fluoride’s benefits, those concerned about the safety of fluoride in drinking water and those who consider the addition of fluoride to water to be an unreasonable infringement on their individual rights. But, based on other research she has done with master’s students on the connection between water fluoridation and both thyroidism and learning disabilities, McLaren says there doesn’t seem to be anything to worry about. “There’s really no robust association that we could detect between fluoride and those health outcomes on a population level in Canada,” she said.

Secondary suite legalization

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uring the election, Mayor Nenshi was explicit about his shortcomings during his first two terms, pointing to secondary suites reform as an example of something he wasn’t able to accomplish. Though the mayor accounts for only one vote

on a 15-person council, the lack of council action on secondary suites is a blot on his record. Currently, applications for secondary suites — self-contained basement or backyard dwellings attached to an existing residence — are processed by City Council on a case-by-case basis for residences not zoned for the suite development. This means that council votes individually on each secondary suite proposal, a process that on some days has occupied more than six hours of council time. The time-consuming process of legalization has led to an illegal secondary suite market that Nenshi estimates serves over 35,000 Calgarians. Farkas says he’s seen first-hand the dangerous environment this can create. “As a student, I lived in an apartment above an illegal secondary suite,” Farkas said. “Not a day went by without having concern about the safety of my neighbours and that of my guests.” Farkas added that though he thinks the current system is broken, he doesn’t think blanket rezoning is the solution. Instead, he wants the process to be more “bureaucratic” with a focus on using set criteria to evaluate whether a residence should be allowed to develop a suite. Davison shared Farkas’s attitude, saying that many communities he represents in Ward 6 are R-1 communities that are not zoned for secondary suites and that those zoning rights should be respected. He raised concerns with residents getting tired of the approval process and renting out their entire residence, as they are permitted to do under R-1 zoning. “On one hand, people who want to live in an R-1 community want to live in an R-1 community,” Davison said. “On the other side of it, we’ve got people who just give up on the whole secondary suite approach and rent the entire house out. At that point we don’t really know what the difference is between them.” Chahal and Gondek were both enthusiastic about secondary suite legalization. Chahal argued that reform is necessary because he thinks the current process is unfair to residents and wastes council’s time, while Gondek pointed to her work on the Calgary Planning Committee — the step of secondary suite approval before going to council — when explaining her solution. “I would be fully in favour of making secondary suites a discretionary use, which means that they would go to administration to determine if the right requirements are being met and then a development permit would be issued,” Gondek said. “The regulatory bodies would ensure that it’s done in a safe manner and a permissible manner.” In July 2016, council voted not to bring a plebiscite to the election ballot asking voters whether they would support rezoning in their community, with returning council members like Nenshi and Farrell arguing that a plebiscite was unnecessary and lacked nuance. This, along with countless other proposed solutions to secondary suites, was defeated in a narrow vote. The new council could tip that delicate balance, Lucas says. “It’s been so close that a shift — one vote, one way or the other — is going to make all the difference,” he said. “We just don’t know what direction that shift will go yet.” November 2017 | 15


RESIDENCE PROPERTY TAXES

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he buzzword of this election was “property taxes,” with many candidates arguing that tax rates for property owners had ballooned during Nenshi’s time as mayor. This January, the U of C Students’ Union named property taxes as a municipal advocacy priority, specifically those levied against post-secondary residence buildings. According to the school’s Residence Services, the U of C paid about $693,000 in property taxes in 2016, and every student living in residence paid $255 in property taxes for the year. Property taxes are a large source of Calgary’s revenue, amounting for over 40 per cent of its operating budget. Other provinces in Canada, like British Columbia, don’t levy property taxes on residence buildings. Though the SU listed residence property taxes as an advocacy issue, none of the four council newcomers were familiar with it. While Farkas declined to comment until he does more research, the other three councillors gave their immediate thoughts. Gondek thinks that if students are paying property taxes, there has to be services in place for them that are financed by the tax. She also expressed concerns about the shortfall that would emerge if the city didn’t receive property taxes from university residences. “If it’s something that has to be in place, I want to make sure that students are getting a benefit from the taxes they are paying,” Gondek said. “I would be open to looking into whether the mill rate needs to be different or whether these properties need to be categorized differently.” Davison was concerned that renters had to pay property taxes, comparing the scenario to any other rental situation. “On the surface it doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense to have residents pay property taxes since they’re not owners of the buildings,” he said. Chahal sympathized with the issue but was cautious about how the city’s books would balance if that revenue was taken away, citing an already difficult budget. “We are already in an operating deficit, we’re already scrambling to find savings and costs and if that taxation wouldn’t happen there, then taxpayers across the city would have to pay more as well,” Chahal said. “I think it could be looked at, potentially, but I think the current system is built that all property owners pay taxes.”

16 | The Gauntlet

CALGARY FLAMES ARENA

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espite proclamations to the contrary by Calgary Flames executives, a new arena for the city’s National Hockey League team became one of the hottest election issues. The city hit a snag negotiating with the team, with Calgary’s proposal offering to pay for a third of the arena while leaving the team and ticket-buyers on the hook for each of the other two thirds. The Flames want the city to pay at least half and to be exempt from property tax. Sports franchises trying to leverage their economic weight in a city as a way to get a better deal on a new arena are welldocumented, including by fieldofschemes.com, a site dedicated to monitoring professional teams’ dealings with municipalities. There, it’s seen that similar situations are also playing out in cities like Columbus, Ohio and Atlanta, Georgia. Post-election, everyone in Calgary government, including Nenshi, seems willing to go back to the negotiating table with the Flames. However, council newcomers agree that any public funds used for the arena have to result in tangible benefit for taxpayers. Chahal says compromise is necessary, comparing the arena deal with the city’s bid to become home to Amazon’s second headquarters. “I view this somewhat as a real estate transaction. We’re looking to bring Amazon into the city now but we also need to attract new businesses and retain the ones we have,” he said. “So as a customer or a tenant, an integral part of our city, it’s important that we work with the Calgary Flames and make sure we get a deal that’s fair for the residents and the taxpayers of the City of Calgary.”

“I want to make sure

students are getting a benefit from the taxes they are paying.”

– Ward 3 councillor Jyoti Gondek


Davison doesn’t want the phrase “public funds” to become a dirty word as the city re-enters negotiations. “I don’t think we have to be hung up on the public funds conversation because ultimately there’s many ways public funds can benefit the public,” Davison said. Gondek echoed those remarks, saying that she’s spoken with former mayors of Denver and Pittsburgh who negotiated similar arena deals to scope out ideas for ensuring public value. Farkas preferred a more fiscally conservative response, saying that the city could play a facilitating role but that the endeavour should be privately funded. For now, the ball is in the Flames’ court for arena negotiations. “I don’t think anything will happen until the Flames decide what their next move is. My expectation is that council, the mayor and administration are probably ready to engage whenever the opportunity arises, but the Flames said a month ago that the conversation on a new arena is over,” Lucas said. “That’s where things stand right now. It’s just a matter of whether they decide to restart that conversation.”

2026 Olympic Bid

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n August, City Council voted to delay a decision on whether to pursue a bid for the 2026 Winter Olympic Games until more information was released by the International Olympic Committee, essentially delegating the Olympic decision to the incoming council. And it’s a pretty monumental choice — estimates for the cost of the Games come in at a staggering $4.6 billion, with $2.2 billion in revenue expected to offset that number. Once considered a heavily competitive honour, hosting the Olympics have recently become an expensive endeavour marred by controversy. After low interest in Summer Olympic bids resulted in the 2024 and 2028 Games being awarded to Paris and Los Angeles, respectively, the IOC is attempting to make the Games more appealing to hosts by lowering restrictions and costs for host cities. The Calgary Bid Exploration Committee (CBEC) has already concluded that a second Olympic Games for Calgary would be financially feasible, but it will be up to council to decide whether it’s prudent.

“I’m not willing to cut

essentially a blank cheque for an international organization with, let’s say, a spotted record.”

– Ward 11 councillor Jeromy Farkas

The four newly elected councillors share a skepticism of whether changes to the Games made by the IOC will be enough to make hosting them worthwhile. Davison questions the economic climate in which the decision is being made. “Calgary is a far different city and the Olympics are a far different organization now than in 1988,” he said. “There’s too many people struggling in the city right now. Businesses are struggling. Is this something that could revitalize the economy or is this something that would be a detriment to our society?” For Farkas, 2026 might be too early for a Calgary Games. “I’m not willing to cut essentially a blank cheque for an international organization with, let’s say, a spotted record. What I’m supporting is, instead of a 2026 bid, we hold our cards for a 2030 bid,” Farkas said. “Let’s see if the IOC has followed through on their reforms to make the Games cheaper and let city staff have more control. If so, I’d be willing to have that discussion for a future Games. But let’s have other cities be the guinea pig.” Chahal fondly remembers the 1988 Olympics, but doesn’t want to support an event that would run a deficit. He thinks the best course of action is waiting until the city has more numbers. Gondek embraces the idea of reusing facilities like the on-campus Olympic Oval as a cost-saving measure, as long as the IOC is consistent with its requirements for host cities. “If host cities have more control and can put on a Games in their own way using existing facilities and can rehabilitate existing facilities, I would definitely want to investigate it,” Gondek said. “But there has to be some sort of an assurance from the IOC that the game would not be changed.” The topic of an Olympic Games is linked to a new arena for the Calgary Flames, since the CBEC’s report worked under the assumption that two full-size hockey arenas — the Saddledome and a new development — would be available for the Olympics and would not be part of the Games’ budget. “Obviously, the landscape has shifted on the politics of the arena, so I think we’re going to see the Olympics connected with the arena and we’ll see it emerge again later this year,” Lucas said. City council is expected to revisit a potential Calgary Olympic bid in 2018. November 2017 | 17


Opinions

Calgarians want a council they can trust, not a drastically different approach By Jesse Stilwell Photo by Mariah Wilson

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algary did its thing in the Oct. 16 municipal election and went with the conservative choice — but not in the way you would expect. They elected every single incumbent candidate, choosing four new faces only when this wasn’t an option. Calgarians want people that they can trust in council to help us get through the tail-end of this economic slump. People often forget that conservatism involves embracing change slowly and thoughtfully — it’s not just social conservatism and slashing spending. Calgary has always been conservative. We live in a city that is wary of change. This election offered the city a chance to elect a brand new council that espoused a divisive conservatism, which would have been a major change from the centrist governance Calgary’s had since 2013. This was a risk we proved unwilling to take. It seemed like Nenshi finally had someone to give him a run for his money in Bill Smith. But Smith lacked principle. He was willing to fork up money for sports

infrastructure but not for much-needed transit upgrades. This wasn’t appealing to a fiscally conservative but servicedependent electorate. Smith also refused to release his donor list and called Nenshi a bully when he asked for it. It was clear that Smith had the interests of corporations and hockey team executives in mind over those of Calgarians. Nenshi ran an emotional campaign, repeatedly calling for all Calgarians to vote because he cares about their voices and speaking at length about his deep connections to the city. As much as his emotional approach lacked substance, it showed that he was listening to Calgarians and cared about their concerns. This is what won the election for Nenshi. People knew how he would lead the city — with strong policy and a little too much attitude. People didn’t know how Smith would lead, especially after revelations of his monumental screw-up on a real estate deal leading to a million-dollar lawsuit. They went with the conservative choice, rather than the new option who presented hypocritical policies and misguided spending. The same effect was seen throughout

Calgary’s wards. In Ward 7, long-time councillor Druh Farrell was re-elected after campaigning on her proven success in council and experience representing her community. Her biggest competition came from Brent Alexander, who was an example of the brand of conservatism that Calgarians fell in love with through both Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the provincial Progressive Conservative party. He has extensive experience in the financial sector, which showed voters he would know how to manage the ward’s finances. But, true to the prudent approach to change that Calgarians displayed last night, Farrell was elected to continue her plans of making Calgary more resilient. There were no dramatic upsets in the election, only a few close races. In the end, Calgarians stayed true to style and went with the conservative choice by voting for a council that they knew what to expect from. In politics, the monster you know is always better than the one you don’t. Maybe you’re disappointed with the result, but it could have been much worse with a rookie council looking to change Calgary drastically.


Students should encourage women to run in campus politics

By Aisha Sajid Photo by Justin Quaintance

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he Students’ Union byelection just passed and students had a wide range of candidates to chose from in the races they were eligible to vote in. But that diversity isn’t always present in student politics. The University of Alberta Students’ Association commissioned a research study that found women are less likely than men to run in student politics. The study said that this is because of differences in behaviour between men and women, such as women lacking confidence when compared to their male counterparts. The student-led research study is the first of its kind in Canada and was prompted by low participation of women in student elections. On average, only 25 per cent of candidates running for these positions are women, leading to a low number of women being elected to executive positions. The University of Calgary SU has a slightly better track record than most students’ unions. From 2014–2017, 34 per cent of candidates for executive positions have been women, with at least

one woman being elected to the executive team each year, though the last time a woman was elected as president was Lauren Webber in 2010. We shouldn’t congratulate ourselves yet. The U of C’s SU shouldn’t be an exception to the norm. More women running for and winning executive positions should be a reality across all Canadian campuses. Voters do not discriminate against female candidates running for student body positions. The issue is that few of the already small population of female students interested in student politics act on that interest. The same effect is also evident in provincial and federal politics. The considerable barrier that prevents many women from running is referred to as the ‘confidence gap,’ coined by political scientist Seymour Lipset. This term means that women who do not run for different levels of government cite a lack of confidence as the thing stopping them. This also explains the trend in student politics. In the U of A study, women reported feeling they did not have the time, knowledge, expertise or confidence to run. Those that do run often have negative

experiences of being disregarded by the student body or receiving ‘unconstructive comments’ in addition to concerns about their appearances, as current SU VP student life Hilary Jahelka outlined in her recent Gauntlet letter to the editor. Although student governance does not exactly mirror the processes of provincial or federal politics, the field is often regarded as men’s work, where women become token candidates. They are expected to represent a large population of women from diverse and intersectional backgrounds, even though that is usually not the case. The best way to change this mindset is by starting a conversation about why women should run. We should encourage female students so that they do not second guess themselves out of running for student politics. Filling out nomination papers, memorizing platform points, creating absurd costumes to garner attention and remaining enthusiastic every day of the campaign is hard work. Being a woman should not be the reason someone doesn’t run. When the majority of the student population is female, seeing more women run and become elected should no longer be a nice surprise — it should be the norm. November 2017 | 19


Opinions

Small business support fee demonstrates how broken the economy truly is By Andrew Kemle

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he Minas Brazilian Steakhouse recently created an optional “small business support fee” on customer purchases. They wanted to show that the business was facing rising costs and that instead of increasing the price of their services, they were searching for alternative avenues to stay profitable. Chief among these rising costs is labour. On the day that Minas introduced the fee, Alberta’s minimum wage also increased from $12.20 to $13.60 an hour. The fee is clearly a political statement — Minas is saying the provincial government is forcing them to give workers a raise and that they are consequently going to lose money without customers’ help. However, the problem is that the wage increase is not only necessary, but also overdue. The cost of living in Calgary has so grossly outpaced wage growth that even more economic instability is likely if nothing changes.

Minimum-wage workers’ demographics don’t match up with their stereotype. According to Macleans, nearly 50 per cent of minimum-wage earners are adults, and 60 per cent have education levels greater than or equal to high school. Trying to pay for further education is nearly impossible on a minimum-wage salary. Any increase in operating costs is going to be felt by small businesses. Restaurants already have to contend with fluctuating material costs, such as the fact that the price of meat increased 16.6 per cent from 2012– 2014. Similar fluctuating costs are present for any small business, no matter what product they sell. Despite this, workers have to eat and businesses have to make money. The typical response to this has been that workers must bear the burden and take a lower wage, even if said wages have been unjustly stagnant for too long. This is the wrong approach. Our economic system is actively hostile to small businesses. It’s not the fault of the government, workers and certainly

not consumers — their very existence buoys small business. The problem is that capitalism requires high profit margins in order for businesses to survive and small businesses struggle to generate those margins reliably. We can’t ask workers to have their wages slashed and we can’t force material costs down, because suppliers are trying to make money as well. A small business can’t solve the problem by willingly taking in less profit during slow years because they lack the reserves of large businesses. This would not be sustainable, so prices must rise in one way or another. Of course, prices can only increase so much before a business becomes non-competitive, meaning that small businesses face a price ceiling in capitalism. This is further proof that capitalism is inherently broken. Its faulty foundations allow large firms to become oligarchies and small businesses to flop. That likely wasn’t the message Minas intended to send, but it’s a message we should consider.


Eminem should not be celebrated as an anti-Trump hero

By Thomas Johnson

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Photo courtesy EJ Hersom

n 2004, MTV ran a special called The Shady National Convention. A tongue-in-cheek mockery of the coinciding American federal election, The Convention envisioned an Eminem presidential campaign, with 50 Cent, Dr. Dre, Ludacris and P. Diddy as his running mates. One of the speakers, a lumpy butternut squash of a man, endorsed Eminem more emphatically than the rest. He referred to himself in third-person, waved his petite hands and championed Mr. Mathers like no one else could: “He’s got brains, he’s got guts, and he’s got Donald Trump’s vote!” Last month at the Black Entertainment Awards, Eminem freestyled acapella for nearly four minutes — an impressive feat. But we aren’t talking about it weeks later because of his well-documented technical prowess. We’re talking about it weeks later because he’s Eminem. The best-selling rapper of all-time, the man Rolling Stone naively called “the king of hip-hop” in 2011. We’re still talking about it because he’s white. There’s a lot to unpack in Eminem’s freestyle. The loudest argument for it as a transcendent moment for fans is that it concretely communicates his stance on the current White House administration. But that wasn’t up in the air. Slim’s been spurring “fuck Trump” chants at his concerts since 2016. We already know where he stands. The freestyle raises more questions than answers — will this open a dialogue? What will his fans think? Will they listen? The freestyle is likely to fall upon tone-deaf ears. Eminem’s distaste for Republican politicians is strong, but in the wake of his freestyle, the Twitter-sphere completely missed the point. Fans spoke out, either denouncing the rapper for his condemnation or shirking accountability in the matter altogether. The sad reality is that this will change nothing. This isn’t to discredit him. The freestyle was poetic, touching and

necessarily frightening. Aside from the subject of race in America, he used his platform to bring awareness to Puerto Rico’s post-hurricane trauma, the National Football League censorship debacle and the latest worst mass shooting in United States history in Las Vegas. Eminem boldly risked alienating a major portion of his fanbase, and unapologetically at that. Eminem’s fans overlap with Trump supporters not only in their demography, but also in their passion. He’s got a hell of a lot to lose. It’s also important to keep in mind that the man we’re celebrating for speaking against injustice created an alter-ego — Slim Shady — so that he could divulge his own very controversial ideas, which include assaulting lesbians like Ray Rice, punching Lana Del Rey, raping his own mother, immolating the love of his life and graphically murdering his ex-wife. There is a divide between art and artist and some songs are simply meant to draw a reaction from the consumer, regardless of where that emotion comes from or goes. But Eminem isn’t a credible voice of reason. It’s crucial to remember that a large part of the reason this story is being run ad nauseam is because of Eminem’s race. Most mainstream rappers have spoken out about Trump in the last 18 months. None of them have received this kind of attention, despite the fact that their work has been just as strong as Slim’s presidential diss. The most unsettling question the tirade begs is why doing the conscionable thing has become reason for celebration. Our lives in 2017 are defined by invisible and redundant binaries. We still expect the right thing to be done by the wrong people and for the worst of us to shine like the hero Gotham deserves — but only when it doesn’t mildly inconvenience us. There is no clear good or bad. If there was, we probably wouldn’t even know what it is. There’s just uncertainty and tomorrow. And rap music.

Photo courtesy Gage Skidmore

November 2017 | 21


Opinions

Condemning holidays does not contribute to reconcilliation efforts By Barrett Schultz

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anadians are often grouped together with our neighbours down south. We try to resist this by protesting that we are clearly distinct, but Canadian citizens sometimes fail to understand the distinction between American and Canadian Thanksgiving, especially in regards to North America’s connection to the gruesome past of colonialism. It’s no secret that the treatment of Indigenous populations in Canada has been disgusting and wrong. We should always condemn it and ensure we are battling emerging forms of discrimination. However, condemning a holiday isn’t helpful. Canadian Thanksgiving is based around unity and thankfulness. What many Canadians fail to — or choose not to — remember is that our Thanksgiving originated as a harvest festival. Americans celebrate Columbus Day in October, an explicit celebration of Christopher Columbus establishing a colonial society. Thanksgiving in Canada is not the same. Modern Thanksgiving may not be as heavily linked to harvests as it once was, but it is a holiday where people around the country can gather with their families and give thanks for food, family, friends and health. With all the

negativity in the world, a day intended for harmony shouldn’t be brought into divisive political correctness debates. This isn’t to say that people should stop advocating for Indigenous rights, equality and recognition. But we should not condemn Canadian Thanksgiving because of negative past events. Instead of wasting time on something with little historical relation to the problems being discussed people should spend time tactfully facing real issues affecting Indigenous communities. The irony within this topic was seen in the Canada 150 celebrations, which the Canadian government recently spent half a billion dollars on. It’s sad that we refuse to acknowledge the existence of nations before Canada was established. Among holidays that show disrespect and disregard towards Indigenous heritage, Canada Day is the worst offender, but we won’t stop celebrating it anytime soon. Rather than fight over a holiday, look for weightier problems regarding Indigenous Canadians, such as missing and murdered Indigenous women or the alarmingly high suicide rate within Indigenous communities. These are serious topics that need to be at the forefront of our discussions. It’s embarrassing that they are swept under the rug

while complaints about an unrelated holiday fill up airwaves. If you want to support the Indigenous populations of Canada, stop shaming people for celebrating thankfulness and start fighting alongside those who want to make true progress. As a Canadian, you can show your support for Indigenous communities in multiple ways, especially through time and money. Various non-profit organizations across the

country need both, such as Reconciliation Canada, where you can volunteer for a variety of positions. Organizations that revolve around Indigenous youth and children are always in need of donations to support the activities they organize. An alarming 60 per cent of Indigenous children live in poverty, so these organizations are vitally important. Indspire helps support and fund Indigenous youth and their post-secondary endeavours — we all know how expensive that is. Canada has a dark past with our Indigenous populations that has caused a variety of current issues. But Thanksgiving isn’t the best target for people who want to change things. It’s a misuse of time and energy to bicker over a holiday revolving around eating turkey when opportunities to make real differences present themselves nationwide.

Campus quips: How do you feel about the U of C switching from Pepsi to Coke?

“I think that’s awesome because I am not a fan of Pepsi.” – Crystal Brown, fifth-year communications

22 | The Gauntlet

“It’s not a big deal for me, I just don’t really care.” – Hanoor Mann, first-year business

“I think that’s pretty good. Coke’s better than Pepsi.” – Andrew Lyu, third-year kinesiology


Arts & Culture

Animation festival is pure imagination Quickdraw’s 13th annual GIRAF brings global animation to local screens Story by Matt Hume Photos provided by Quickdraw Animation Society

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he Quickdraw Animation Society boasts over three decades of nonprofit, artist-run experience in production, screenings and workshops. In addition to fueling the spirit of animation on a daily basis, it organizes the Giant Incandescent Resonating Animation Festival (GIRAF) held every November. This year, from Nov. 23–26, Quickdraw’s 13th annual GIRAF is bringing life and colour to the Globe Cinema, EMMEDIA Screening Room and the Quickdraw Animation studios. Quickdraw executive director Peter Hemminger says the festival has changed plenty since its inception, but has synthesized its history to become what it is today. “When GIRAF was started by Quickdraw member Brandon Blommaert, it was really just spotlighting a lot of those 24 | The Gauntlet

super weird Quickdraw member works. Like one that was just insects and dried fruit taped to film and projected to see what happens,” Hemminger says. “It was small, Quickdraw-focused and not presenting itself as a film festival. I think that’s reflected in the name of the festival too, which honestly I’m sure is a ‘backronym.’ It gives it that weird personality.” As GIRAF grew, so did its scope. A few years after the first festival, thenprogramming director Kerilynn Thompson attracted a larger audience by bringing in visiting artists and showcasing international films. In recent years, Hemminger and Quickdraw have combined member spotlights and international screenings, culminating into today’s GIRAF. This year’s festival kicks off with a

screening of French animator Sébastien Laudenbach’s adaptation of the Grimm fairytale, The Girl Without Hands. In addition to the screening, the opening gala will include a live performance and visuals from local musician and artist Hermitess. GIRAF13 will also screen Junk Head, a feature written, directed, animated, scored and voiced by Takahide Hori. The two-hour film, which took the oneperson production team eight years to complete, was a hit at the Fantasia festival in Montreal. Hemminger is excited to put the humourous horror on a Calgary screen. “It just blew me away. The aesthetic really feels like [Swiss surrealist painter] H.R. Giger or really grotesque monsters in this dark imagination, but there’s a lot of humour in the movie so


it’s actually silly in a lot of places,” he says. “There’s a big preamble at the start of the movie to put you in the world but the easiest way to think of it is just a character exploring a world that he’s never seen before — weird stuff is gonna keep on happening.” A double retrospective on Satoshi Kon, a widely influential Japanese animator who passed away in 2010 at the age of 46, is also a huge draw for GIRAF13. Kon’s 1997 feature Perfect Blue and 2006 feature Paprika will both screen. “[He’s] one of the first animators from Japan that was really taken seriously in North America,” Hemminger says. “Perfect Blue gets into some very dark territory. It’s a psychological thriller that’s been described a few times as if Hitchcock made an anime. He really takes advantage of the fact that in animation he has full control of everything that’s happening. He has this ability to keep you completely disoriented, but in a way that’s so structured.” Paprika centres on technology that allows therapists to enter people’s dreams — and was released three years before Inception, Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster built around the same concept. Hemminger says the plot gave Kon an excuse to animate surreal dreamscapes, resulting in unparalleled beauty. “If you think of the way Inception

“Every single image on the screen is something that you’ve never seen before at all.”

– Peter Hemminger, Quickdraw executive director

looks at dreams, those worlds are very straightforward, and sure, sometimes the scenery will fold up, but it’s still a grey dreamworld,” Hemminger says. “Paprika is the most colourful movie you’ll ever see. Every single image on the screen is something that you’ve never seen before at all. It’s such a striking, beautiful movie even though it’s a thriller in its own way.” The animation collective Late Night Work Club (LNWC) is the focus of another spotlight at GIRAF13. The group started as a collection of friends on Twitter making independent animations on evenings and weekends outside of their day jobs. Two 40-minute LNWC anthologies, Ghost

Stories and Strangers, will screen at the festival. LNWC member and Californiabased visiting artist Sean Buckelew says a theatre setting brings a new dimension to these works, which are currently available online. “The internet is a good way to disseminate animated shorts, but I still believe in the movie magic of watching something in a room,” Buckelew says. “I feel like my favourite movie experiences are in crowds that are ready to react. I want to make movies that can embrace the energy of a room, even if it’s going to go online first.” Buckelew is also hosting a workshop on making cinema-style animations on a zero-dollar budget. Among other artists highlighted at GIRAF include University of Calgary MFA student Brandon Hearty. The artist will contribute work to the festival and host a workshop on augmented reality animation. GIRAF also boasts screening debuts from the Quickdraw Scholarship Program. The program connects first-time animators to classes, equipment and membership to make their first animated film. GIRAF13 runs from Nov. 23–26 at the Globe Cinema, EMMEDIA Screening Room and Quickdraw Animation Society studio. Tickets, schedule and festival information can be found at giraffest.ca. November 2017 | 25


Arts & Culture

A loving eulogy for the clickwheel iPod

Story by Thomas Johnson Photo by Mariah Wilson

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he thought of you no longer singing me to work everyday and sleep every night, never crossed my mind. The happiness you gave burned greater than the laws of nature — eternal, above the concept of a lifespan. Yet still, I have to accept your death. My dear 160GB iPod Classic, serial number 32038079267, how I will miss you. These are the last days of the iPod. On Sept. 9, 2014, Apple announced the discontinuation of the iPod Classic. For purists, traditionalists, romantics and the protagonist of Baby Driver, the report spelled the end of a cherished moment in the lives of a niche group of millennials. When production ended for Apple’s best piece of hardware, it was tacitly and begrudgingly acknowledged that death sentences would follow for the remaining lineage of Apple’s legendary devices. In July 2017, the last nail was driven into the coffin. The iPod Shuffle and iPod Nano, both on the cusp of entering their teenage years, were put to rest due to plummeting sales. A formal end came to the greatest line of electronics to ever grace the shelves of big-market tech retailers worldwide. The bastardized iPod Touch is the lone 26 | The Gauntlet

descendant to bear the family name, but the only iPods I acknowledge had a clickwheel. The iPod catalyzed Apple’s transformation from tech-giant to cultural force. It radically transformed music’s landscape, causing tectonic shifts which continue to displace the music-sharing market. Twenty years ago, as I’m sure your father has told you, the idea of holding thousands of songs in your pocket was unfathomable. Now the idea of plugging your headphones into your closed-circuit iPod — free of emails, iMessages, calls and increasingly disturbing updates regarding the world’s sordid state of affairs — is one of the past. What was once the crowning gem of Silicon Valley’s exponential progress has become another obsolete medium. Millions of young-adult lives, whose formative years fell between the rise of MP3s and its upheaval by streaming, are hidden within their iPods’ libraries. Innumerable memories flood into my mind as I reminisce about my collection of iPods through the years. For example, in seventh-grade homeroom, pulling — from my change pocket, as Steve Jobs did when he introduced it to the world — a royal blue iPod Nano, thinner than a #2 pencil. Clipping my first iPod Shuffle to the waistband of my shorts as I

took up running and minutes later unclipping that same iPod Shuffle as I realized running wasn’t my thing. Watching the blue bar denoting those iPod’s capacity slowly fill and the euphoric, bittersweet triumph that washed over me when the pop-up informed me no space remained. My greatest romance, however, was with my most recent iPod — a Classic, with a tiny chip taken from the top corner of its face, bright until its last song. I’ll never forget holding it in my hands. It was fine the night before it died. We listened to the new 2 Chainz album — we kept replaying “Rolls Royce Bitch.” When I awoke, it would not respond. It had moved on from the world as the world had moved on from it, its life extinguished. I’ve never known a truer companion. Wherever you are now, I hope the drums knock as crisp as J Dilla and the twang of strings ring as clear as if plucked by Paganini himself. My iPod, I hope you are among your brothers and sisters now — Shuffles, Nanos, Minis — scratch-free, fully charged and loaded to their flash-memory’s brim, glinting in eternal sunlight as warm as the bass emitting from their 3.5-mm stereo headphone jacks. I hope your battery lasts as long as there is music to be played. You will not be the Discman. You will not be forgotten.


Calgary’s Raleigh dives into new sonic territory with Powerhouse Bloom Story by Matt Hume Photo provided by Raleigh

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sound exists within the wave of psychedelic indie rock, somewhere in between Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Tame Impala, personified by Calgary quartet Raleigh. On Sept. 29, the group released their third full-length record, Powerhouse Bloom — an album developed during the band’s residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Founding member Brock Geiger says the environment and wide time-frame allowed the band to craft a polished record. “We feel really good about it and nothing feels compromised on it,” Geiger says. “In the past you would book a studio and you’d go in and you’d have two weeks to try and get it done. This time we didn’t put any limitations on ourselves and made sure we were fully sat-

isfied with what we were putting out. It feels good to have given ourselves the luxury to do that.” During the Banff residency, Raleigh worked with a wide range of Canadian talent. Kevin Drew, Brendan Canning and Charles Spearin of Broken Social Scene were producers and mentors throughout the album’s production. The sound engineers present were

also high-calibre, including Graham Lessard, who has worked with Timbre Tambre, and Shawn Everett — known for Grammy Awardwinning work with Alabama Shakes. Powerhouse Bloom’s final mixing day brought back Lessard along with Tragically Hip producer Nyles Spencer and Preoccupations producer Scott Munroe. Geiger says the extra time and resources allowed the band to branch out from the sounds of their previous work. “We’ve used the studio as more of a tool and it’s quite a bit richer sonically. There’s more experimentation with additional elements with effects on vocals and weird, atypical sounds,” he says. The atypical sounds also bring new life to their live performances. With stranger effects and a more electronic tone, Raleigh’s shows have taken on a new character. “This last month of touring we’ve really aimed to translate [our performance] in a way that represents the record as accurately as possible,” Geiger says. “It’s bringing up a lot of effects processing and live sampling to kind of make sure we’re hitting the whole sonic spectrum that’s presented on the record. It’s pretty much a full-fledged electric show now and it really translates with a lot of energy.” Their Canadian tour began with 10 days in Western Canada followed by seven shows in Ontario and Quebec. After completing a final stop back in Calgary at Ironwood on Oct. 26, Raleigh is off to Europe to deliver their sound worldwide. Powerhouse Bloom is available now on Spotify and Bandcamp. Stay up to date with Raleigh through Facebook and Twitter. November 2017 | 27


Arts & Culture

CJSW listeners keep community radio strong during Funding Drive

Story by Scott Christensen Photos by Mariah Wilson

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roadcasting out of MacEwan Hall, CJSW 90.9 F.M. is Calgary’s only campus and community radio station. On Oct. 20, it kicked-off its annual Funding Drive. With only seven paid staff members at the station, CJSW relies on Funding Drive and the volunteer efforts of over 300 people to operate. “We have a very unique relationship with our listeners because once a year we rely on monetary donations in order to sustain creating radio,” says community development coordinator Jasmine Retzer. “Without it, we can’t create and do the programming that we do.” Every year during the last full week of October, CJSW suspends its regular programming to reach out to their listeners for donations to help keep the station running for years to come. “The programmers — who are all volunteers — do really special shows where they create mixes and have all kinds of great stuff to give to their listeners. Basically they’re just asking for monetary support,” Retzer says. On top the $200,000 goal, which will keep the station operating for the year, CJSW also set a stretch goal of $250,000 for improving and upgrading the station. 28 | The Gauntlet

“In years past, we’ve done things with the Funding Drive like upgrade our tower wattage, we’ve introduced a brand new website, we got a remote broadcast kit so we could radio out in the community and live on location,” Retzer says. “This year, we’ve rolled out all these really big projects and we’re trying to make improvements to those projects. They need to be sustained, they need to be improved upon and it’s that whole practice makes perfect mentality.” With a wide range of multicultural and genre-spanning programming, Rezter emphasizes CJSW has something for every interest. “You might tune in one hour [and] hear heavy metal music and the next hour you’re going to hear drum and bass or the next hour you’re going to hear folk,” she says. However, a diverse range of music isn’t all the non-profit station has to offer. There’s also a selection of spoken-word programming that listeners can tune in to. “Recently, we just covered the [Calgary municipal] election,” Rezter says. “We’ve been doing Indigenous programming, we’ve been doing programming about LBGTQ2 and environmentalism. You name it, we’ve covered it.” Being a community-based radio station also means CJSW covers what’s going on around the city, not just on campus. “We really try and support the local com-

munity in a big way,” Rezter says. “Whether that’s on the airwaves and we’re supporting local music, local arts and entertainment, or actually out in the community making rad things happen.” Retzer says it’s important to keep CJSW funded because it is the voice for community members who may not otherwise have one. “We offer a platform for people who maybe aren’t recognized in mainstream media to have a voice. We’re addressing concerns of the community that perhaps other radio stations or media platforms are not,” she says. “We’re also making sure the arts community is well supported, that our local artists are supported, that you’re hearing music that is new and fresh and not heard on any other radio station in this community right now.” In addition, Retzer says that keeping CJSW ad-free allows for greater freedom to support the work of local artists. “We’re not driven by corporate advertising,” she says. “So in that sense, we get to actually elevate the Calgary community because we get to support people’s initiatives around Calgary.” Funding Drive concluded on Oct. 27, but pledges are still welcome and incentives can still be claimed. You can support CJSW at fundingdrive.ca or visit CJSW on the east third-floor of MacEwan Hall. Tune in anytime at CJSW 90.9 F.M. and at cjsw.com.


November is a great month to have a date night that’s all fun-and-games

Story by Nikayla Goddard

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on’t let the drop in temperature bring down your mood — these fun-andgames date nights are bound to keep you and your partner entertained on even the dreariest of nights. Head to The Rec Room located at Deerfoot City to spend your evening with a drink in one hand and your date’s hand

in the other. There are tons of different games and activities to choose from — a virtual reality experience, an interactive climbing wall, billiards, shuffleboard and of course, tons of classic arcade games. The Rec Room is open to all ages until 10 p.m., after which it becomes a play space for adults to drink and game at the same time. Calgary Story Slam will host their

monthly storytelling event on Nov. 23 at 7 p.m., where participants can listen, judge or tell a story based on a topic chosen by the organizers. This month’s theme is “Scared” and any level of experience is welcomed. Hosted at The Pint in the city’s southwest, attendees can sign up at the start of the event as participants and tell five-minute tales about themselves, which are judged by randomly selected audience members. For only $5, it’s a great opportunity to get to know your date better or just have fun listening to the tales of others. ‘It’s Date Night at The Met’ is hosting Wine + Bingo every second Tuesday at The Metropolitan. The event runs on Nov. 7 and 21 and next month on Dec. 5 from 6–8 p.m. For $20 each, you and your date can have a fun, mellow night complete with appetizers, a glass of wine or beer and bingo with fun prizes.

The 65,000 masterpieces of Loving Vincent Story by Rachel Woodward

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n Oct. 13, Loving Vincent premiered in Calgary at the Eau Claire Cinema. The film sparked positive reviews, and for good reason. It’s hard to describe Loving Vincent in any other way than a masterpiece — or tens of thousands of masterpieces. Directed by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman, the film follows a postman’s son as he attempts to deliver the last letter that painter Vincent van Gogh wrote to his brother. The film’s production took six years and it’s no wonder why — each of the film’s 65,000 frames are hand-painted. As the world’s first painted feature film, Loving Vincent is appealing to those who have ever wondered what living inside of a painting would be like. In total, 115 painters worked together to mimic van Gogh’s style and create the breathtaking film. The animation uniquely vivifies the characters’ facial expressions, which are extremely lifelike and natural. But the world around them holds the same impressionistic and distinguishable world that a van Gogh painting provides. Even the

painted light emitted by candles is stunning. The story of the Loving Vincent resembles a detective novel. It follows the postman’s son’s interactions with people who claimed to have known van Gogh and pieces together his eight years as an artist leading up to his suicide in 1890. The characters are fully realized and have a rich depth. A great thing about this film is that you don’t have to be an art snob to enjoy it. Van Gogh’s art style is familiar enough to feel comfortable and the film’s aesthetic can be appreciated without extensive art knowledge. The acting also feels familiar, with actors like Douglas Booth, Saoirse Ronan and Jerome Flynn in key roles. It’s wonderful to

experience such a wholly unique and new film concept. Overall, Loving Vincent is a pleasure to watch. Moments with subpar dialogue or slow storyline progression only make the journey of the animation more impressive. The movie could be looked at frame by frame and each instant appears to be its own independent piece of art, woven together to create the film — because that’s exactly what it is. The production team are even selling stills from the movie. Loving Vincent is playing at Eau Claire Cinema throughout November. The movie creates the perfect ambiance for a solo outing to the theatre or for an artful date.

November 2017 | 29


Arts & Culture

A L B U M

Destroyer ken October 20, 2017 (Merge Records)

Dan Bejar’s music has never sounded at ease. Whether through instrumentation or subject matter, every one of his songs carries an anxious undercurrent. Even during his best work from the 2011 smooth jazz/indie rock hybrid Kaputt, Bejar struggles through dense, cryptic lyrics

Tough Age Shame October 20, 2017 (Mint) Tough Age, a Vancouver duo turned Toronto trio, are an unmissable staple of Canadian garage punk. Their fuzzy, bubblegum and nonchalant sounds have graced the internet since 2013. Their Bandcamp bio states that they make “music for us and for you if you want it.” Despite a ‘whatever’ attitude on the sur30 | The Gauntlet

R E V I E W S

atop the most lush, dreamy instrumentals this side of the Cocteau Twins. It’s no surprise that ken, the 12th album by Bejar under the Destroyer moniker, carries on this trend. Throughout the record, the Vancouver music scene veteran is in a permanent state of distraction as his ruminations take the form of stream of consciousness lyrics, interrupted only on a few occasions by a curse snarled through gritted teeth. The functional purpose of this detached nature becomes clear in the album’s first track. “Sky’s Grey” begins with a barebones electronic beat that hardly amounts to anything more than a MIDI hi-hat playing triplets on repeat. The stark backing fades to black, before pulsating synths replace it to lead into a conclusion awash with effect pedals and melancholy. It’s a carefully crafted feeling of catharsis, and one that Bejar’s skilled at making, though he takes a different approach to it with each album. ken borrows some tricks from ‘80s noise pop pioneers The Jesus

and Mary Chain, setting Bejar low in the mix on tracks like “In the Morning” and “Stay Lost” as walls of distortion obscure songs that are four-chord pop at their core. The best among ken’s tracks is “Tinseltown Swimming in Blood,” the only song on the album that doesn’t use distortion or stilted electronics to mask its brilliance. The track returns to Kaputt-style instrumentation while Bejar sings with both a swagger and a heartfelt wistfulness. Though his words are as abstract as always, they feel monumental. Unfortunately, ken tends to drag as it nears its conclusion. Aside from the brooding “Rome,” there’s no obvious standout for a sizable stretch. Most songs still exhibit Bejar’s propensity for crafting a whole from disparate parts, but unlike his best work, it’s largely a distracting detriment. Still, ken is yet another album full of intrigue and veiled wisdom from one of Canada’s best songwriters. Jason Herring

face, their new opus, Shame, proves beyond a doubt they care about making good music for anyone who wants it. The album throws you in patch-covered jacket first in its opening track, “Everyday Life.” A jangly, upbeat lick adds slight variation throughout the overarching repetition that keeps it fresh and interesting. About halfway through the track, anthemic vocals chime in for one line of introspection — it’s short, sweet and leaves you wanting more. “Piquant Frieze” keeps the album going with more upbeat, pop-rock vibes. Almost whimsical effects atop a poppy guitar are juxtaposed with powerfully punky vocals. “Reflected” delivers more head-shaking pop-rock with a catchy chorus you’ll be singing out loud in no time. “Me In Glue” follows in line as a fun punk jam, but with a change-up in vocal duties. A tonal shift occurs in Shame somewhere between “Unclean” and “Pageantry.” The pace slows and the bubblegum-pop gives way to softer post-punk

melodies — like the chillest areas of Wire’s Pink Flag. The album’s 10-minute long finisher “Shame” starts with a slower pace, like the songs preceding it, but crescendos into a top-notch punky jam. Subtle changes to melody and distant, yelling vocals take you on a sonic adventure worthy of a road-trip montage. It ends with a mix of silence, ambient noises and strange washing effects over plucked electric strings. The ending feels equally unsettling and calmingly positive, like knowing the best in life is yet to come. Shame is an album you’ll want to share with pals over a cheesy slice and cheap beers. Lyrically, the album tackles personal struggles with “shame,” engaging with your past and becoming a better person — but it’ll never have you feeling down. Whether it’s blasting on your stereo when friends are home for reading break or delivering a personal party through your earbuds, Shame will keep your foot tapping with a smile on your face. Matt Hume


Metz Strange Peace King Krule15, 2017 September (Royal Mountain / Sub Pop) The OOZ October 13, 2017 (XL Recordings)

Your mind can be a dangerous place to be lost in. Too much time trapped between your thoughts can render even the hardest men to tapioca. The notion that the darkest path snakes inward sits at the gloomy centre of The OOZ, the first album from King Krule (née Archie Marshall) in over four years. It’s a screwball collection of intangible grotesqueries and ideas that intermingle and bump against each other,

TOP 30 The top 30 albums played on CJSW 90.9 FM this week. Week of Oct. 17, 2017 Tune in to CJSW 90.9 FM and online at cjsw.com

rather than properly fleshing themselves out. It’s an unsettling record to be sure, but underneath its blight lies stark moments of brutal honesty and an unfamiliar serenity. With an auspicious 67-minute runtime, The OOZ unfurls in a dreamlike trance from the depths of Krule’s subconscious, complete with all the insecurities and fears that hide from the sun in the damp recess of ones dormant psyche. 6 Feet Beneath The Moon, Marshall’s first album as King Krule, was a gothic collection of dive-bar ballads and haunted soliloquies. Marshall’s resonant voice — a hollow, anemic foghorn— whirled through the album’s chasms and filled its voids with a different sort of emptiness. In the same vein as Tom Waits, the protagonists of his songwriting were sad-sack types and bruised romantics. With The OOZ, Marshall’s despondency has imploded, and his melancholia has turned inward. His musings compound as the album goes on. By its final quarter, it becomes almost uncomfortable in its nakedness. Behind Marshall’s eyelids, his spirit festers in profound isolation and heavy-hearted

1. Blue Hawaii - Tenderness (Arbutus) 2. Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Luciferian Towers (Constellation Records) 3. Valiska - On Pause (Trouble in Utopia) 4. Chad VanGaalen - Light Information (Flemish Eye) 5. Gordon Grdina, Francois Houle, Kenton Loewen, Benoit Delbecq - Ghost Lights (Songlines) 6. Pat Clifton - Everybody’s Still Asleep (Self-Released) 7. Beliefs - Habitat (Hand Drawn Dracula) 8. Sarah Davachi - All My Circles Run (Students of Decay) 9. Souljazz Orchestra - Under Burning Skies (Do

loneliness. One of the premier songwriters of his generation, he can weave references from all walks. The eclecticism of his ruminations point towards the mind of a restless polymath, a creative wunderkind with an imagination that spans far beyond the parameters of simple indie rock. Throughout the 19 tracks, hints of Marshall’s discography sit beside quotes from The Sopranos, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia’s theme music and Greek astronomy theories. These, coupled with a croak that sounds as if it were scraped from a whiskey barrel, make the King Krule of The OOZ one of the more enthralling characters in recent memory. Archie Marshall’s greatest trick is trying to draw a separation between himself and King Krule. Somewhere in the murk, the former and latter homogenized into a single hapless phantom. The OOZ is many things — sprawling, dense, difficult, poetic, heartbreaking and maybe even a little pretentious. But above all, it is a remarkable record. In losing himself to introversion, that phantom has brought his singular vision to life. Thomas Johnson

Right! Music) 10. Aron D’Alesio - Aron D’Alesio (Paper Bag) 11. Needles//Pins - Good Night, Tomorrow (Mint Records) 12. HACO - Qoosui (Someone Good) 13. Jessica Lea Mayfield Sorry Is Gone (ATO) 14. Bog Bodies - Beyond the Blonde Climax (Crimson Ward Trauma) 15. Vanta - Vanta II (SelfReleased) 16. Bee Eater - Kiln (SelfReleased) 17. Woolworm - Deserve to Die (Mint Records) 18. Prime Junk - Ladybird (Sleepwalk Tapes) 19. Birds Of Paradise - Love Hotel (REC Records) 20. Shooting Guns - Flavour Country (Ridingeasy Records)

21. Petunia and the Vipers - Lonesome, Heavy and Lonesome (SelfReleased) 22. Death From Above Outrage is Now (Warner Bros) 23. Faith Healer - Try (Mint) 24. Hundred Waters - Communicating (OWSLA) 25. Errorsmith - Superlative Fatigue (PAN) 26. Shigeto - The New Monday (Ghostly International) 27. Steve Earle & The Dukes - So You Wannabe An Outlaw (Warner Bros) 28. Tenniscoats - Music Exists Disc 3 (Alien Transistor) 29. Urochromes - Night Bully EP (Wharf Cat Records) 30. Ben Frost - The Centre Cannot Hold (Mute) November 2017 | 31


Sports

Campus Sparring Club offers fun, unconventional workout

Story by David Song Photo provided by the University of Calgary Sparring Club

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rom lifting weights to going for a run, the University of Calgary offers many ways for students to exercise on campus. For those looking for a less conventional work out, the U of C Sparring Club provides students with the opportunity to practise martial arts — a way to train both physically and mentally.

“Martial arts isn’t equivalent to violence.” — Club executive Farrah Urmeneta Neuroscience student and club representative Jacinta Specht says the Sparring Club, which started in 2015, welcomes all students regardless of experience. “We’re open to anyone who wants to learn martial arts,” Specht said. “We want to provide people with confidence and some of the principles that come along with martial arts, such as discipline.” Martial arts — an umbrella term for a variety of combat practices and traditions — can be intimidating for beginners. The 32 | The Gauntlet

Sparring Club wants to dispel the myth that martial arts are reserved for athletic men. “Anyone can learn from martial arts,” Specht said. “I’ve taught elders starting at 60. And then I have kids who are five. I always try to tell people who want to join the club, it’s not for a certain age or body type. Anyone can be a martial artist.” Club executive Farrah Shiela Urmeneta stresses that practising martial arts isn’t about causing harm to others. “Martial arts isn’t equivalent to violence,” she said. “It’s a controlled form of exercise. You look super cool. You learn that you can do things that you could never do before.” The Sparring Club’s weekly sessions are structured to teach newcomers various basic disciplines and to further cultivate veteran members’ skills. “Normally, the room will be split in half,” Urmeneta said. “On one side, you see people beating each other up — sparring. They’re from a variety of different martial arts backgrounds or they have no experience. On the other side there is more conditioning and training led by an exec or senior member who knows exactly how it works. We normally allow members to use our equipment, or they can bring their own.” Sessions are usually led by Specht, who holds a third-degree black belt in Shotokan karate, or by guest instructors, such as Faculty of Science dean and dual karate black belt Lesley Rigg who led

one session last semester. Specht says sparring is a high-impact workout that develops cardio, balance and overall fitness. “It’s very interval-based,” Specht explained. “You go hard for a couple of seconds, then [the referees] stop it, then you go again. You’re using your whole body and it helps with coordination and focus. It’s a very good way for people to get fit fast.” Practising martial arts also has many mental and social benefits. Specht and Urmeneta say that being a Sparring Club member fosters a sense of community on campus. Training in martial arts is also accompanied by greater discipline, confidence and a sense of camaraderie. “When I first came in, I didn’t know what to expect,” Urmeneta said. “I didn’t know there were as many [forms of martial arts] as there are and I didn’t know so many different people could be interested in martial arts. It touched my soul.” “You make really good friends through martial arts,” Specht added. “You learn to trust each other. A year-long Sparring Club membership costs $20 — a paltry amount compared to fees charged by off-campus clubs, which can cost upwards of $200. Meetings take place on Fridays from 5:30–7:30 p.m in the Multipurpose room in Kinesiology A. To join the Sparring Club, visit their Facebook page or email uofcsparringclub@gmail.com.


Calgary gym supports female strength trainers with women’s-only event Story by Christie Melhorn

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ntil my dad retired, I spent every summer since I was 13 working for his construction companies. I mostly worked on casual, residential projects or at his warehouse. As a female manual laborer I experienced every type of sexism, from general stereotyping to blatant misogyny. Whether commended, challenged or simply observed, my strength was a constant topic of conversation. “You’re strong for a girl,” a male coworker once commented after watching me organize scaffolding segments. “Here, I’ll help you with that. Let me carry it,” another male coworker said as if I was about to crumble into a heap while carrying a pale of rubble. “Get inside dear! You’ll catch your death out there,” a lady said to me from her doorstep as my dad and I loaded a wheelbarrel with debris in the rain. “Wow, you’re such a big, strong girl, pushing that big wheelbarrel all by yourself!” another lady remarked as I took that same wheelbarrel to the dumpster. “If you keep doing that kind of work, none of the guys will want to date you because you’ll be able to beat ‘em up!” an old man once told me with a smirk. I tossed the wooden beam I was carrying into the waste bin with more force than necessary. Many of these comments did not come from a place of malice but they were condescending and loaded with assumptions about traditional female gender roles and how they are communicated through the body. They imply that women are desired for being delicate and that women want to be desired by men. They also reinforce the myth that strength training shapes you into the

“We want to show women that their strength is admired.”

— Personal trainer Sandra Cappon

Hulk. However, personal trainer and competitive powerlifter Sandra Cappon says these beliefs are starting to fade. “There are more women looking for strength sports and realizing that the traditional gym isn’t working for them,” Cappon said. “They’re saying, ‘I’m okay with being strong and I don’t have to listen to warnings about developing a masculine body.’ ” Cappon facilitates this through a monthly event called “Wine, Women and Weights” at The Strength Edge off 45th Ave. and Pacific Road in northeast Calgary. On the last Saturday of every month, the gym is reserved for guests who identify as women to drop in from 6–9 p.m. Attendees can come do their usual workout or try a new style and enjoy a glass of wine when they’re done. Experienced coaches and chiropractors are present to show correct form and ensure guests get the most from their workout. Beginners are also encouraged to come and learn about the world of strength training. Entry is $15 for non-members and $10 for current members with an optional $10 for those who want wine. Cappon says the purpose of the event is to create a safe space for women to expand their fitness interests and support network. “I have a number of clients who end up training on their own. They’re interested in strength sports but don’t have a lot of support,” Cappon says. “I want to show women they’re not alone in feeling that they’re alone — that we can push for excellence. We want to show women that their strength is admired and then give them the opportunity to try things that they maybe have never thought of.” Cappon says the The Strength Edge offers a constructive and uplifting environment that helps her empower other women. “We’re not a neat, tidy little club,” she said. “We pursue goals not just for the sake of looking in the mirror but to ask yourself, ‘Am I getting stronger? How do I feel about my work ethic and the results?’ ” Cappon explains that reserving the space for women only, with the excep-

tion of male coaches, helps dismantle the pressure and intimidation many women feel in a gym setting. “As a strength gym, the regular gym guy here is a big burly guy. They’re really great big teddy bears but for the novice to come in, it is a little intimidating,” Cappon says. “Thoughts like, ‘Do I look good in my outfit today? Do I look good as I lift?’ don’t really cross people’s minds here. It’s more about the quality of your work.” Cappon adds that strength training can help students foster self-confidence that is beneficial both during school and after graduation.

“The mind and body are so connected. When you’re willing to get into the mental aspect, it’s incredible what it can draw out of people.” — Personal trainer Sandra Cappon “Following a fitness routine makes you study better,” Cappon said. “Working out before an exam improves blood flow, which helps you think during the exam. You feel better about yourself in general. When working towards a career, you won’t be able to reach your full potential if you’re not feeling totally confident in yourself.” Wine, Women and Weights intends to bolster women’s confidence and show how strength training can be brought into your life at any time. Outside of the event, Cappon says that strength training is open to everyone. “The atmosphere here is unique in that we want to push and help each other,” Cappon says. “The mind and the body are so connected. When you’re willing to get into the mental aspect, it’s incredible what it can draw out of people.” For more information about Wine, Women and Weights, email smcappon@ shaw.ca. November 2017 | 33


Sports

Use grounding techniques to combat anxiety

Story by Christie Melhorn Photo by Mariah Wilson

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s a busy University of Calgary student, you’re probably accustomed to stress and anxiety — kind of like how you get used to the MacHall food court being a total shit-show at lunchtime. The relentless chatter, cash registers slamming and procrastinating students watching YouTube videos on full blast is metaphoric of your endlessly spinning thoughts. The way you put up with your numb spine from those backless cafeteria seats is similar to tolerating constant stresstension in your body. We often don’t realize how overwhelmed we are because we’re just used to it. This can lead to an intensified symptom of anxiety called dissociation. Anxiety Care United Kingdom defines dissociation, also known as depersonalization or derealization, as “a change in self-awareness” which involves a feeling of severed autonomy from your thoughts and actions. Dissociation can occur at any time. It feels as though a mental fog is cast over your vision, alienating you from your surroundings. Objects appear two-dimensional and may seem to change in size and shape. It can also cause you to perceive other people as inanimate and, in extreme cases, instill a sense of 34 | The Gauntlet

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impending death. As dramatic and comical as it may sound, dissociation is visceral and convincing. I’ve experienced varying degrees of it most of my life but the most severe instance was on the day of my convocation from the University of Calgary this past June. The panic attack brewed during the entire ceremony but came to a boil afterwards. I was downtown and felt like I was in a sinister funhouse full of looming, warped mirrors. The buildings around me looked like wobbly paper cut-outs. Cars driving by seemed like they were melting or falling apart. My footing was unsteady and the voices of people

around me were nonsensical. Between sincerely believing that I was dying or needed to be hospitalized, I decided to surrender to the feeling and collapsed on the lawn of the Peter Lougheed House. Laying down with my eyes closed, I clutched a set of crystal beads I happened to be gifted earlier that day and found comfort in their soft and smooth texture. I embraced the lush grass underneath me and the occasional breeze sweeping over my skin. Without realizing, I was engaging in a coping mechanism called grounding. Grounding roots you in the present and strengthens your mind-body connection. It

Sensory grounding strategies: • Gently trace your facial features with your fingers. Start by tracing your orbital bones then go down the bridge of your nose and over your mouth. Take your fingers down your chin and then move along your jawline up to your ears, giving your lobes soft pinches. • Choose a nearby object and hold it. Examine how it feels, looks and sounds. This can be something as simple as a

pencil. Try not to use your phone or laptop — incoming messages or the presence of a stressful assignment or task buried somewhere in your screen can be counter-productive. • Take out a pen and paper and trace your hand. Label each finger as one of the five senses and then describe a sensation you are experiencing that corresponds with each one. If you don’t have a pen and paper, use one of your hands to trace your fingers and verbally label them.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 30

DATED_November_BlockParty.indd 1

women 6 p.m. | men 7:30 p.m. VOLLEYBALL Jack Simpson Gym

WIN

No line stamps to ThursDen Major prizes during both games Special Red Zone App contest

involves both sensory and cognitive methods. Sensory strategies are helpful to practice first as they can distract from mental chatter. Cognitive strategies then help untangle mental disorientation and smoothen your thinking process. The following examples may seem simple and even childish. But they are incredibly effective and helped me peel myself off the Lougheed House lawn and carry on with my day. Some of these are my own invention and others are adapted from anxiety coping resources provided by the Calgary Counseling Centre and the Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse.

Cognitive grounding strategies: • Write or verbalize basic details about yourself: your first and last name, age, height, hair color, eye color, gender, address and so on. You could expand to include the same information about friends or family members — this also reinforces your support network. • Tell a story either orally or on paper. Revisit a fond memory and root yourself back into that moment. Shed any judgment about grammar, spelling, inflection, chronology of events or style. Describe the setting, the other people involved, any conversation that occurred and how you felt in that moment. Write down whatever comes into your head without disregarding particular details as insignificant. It doesn’t need to be a true event either — it can even be a scene from a book or movie or a dream you had. There are a diverse range of helpful grounding activities that many students likely engage in without realizing it. Scrolling through Instagram or endlessly flickering through memes probably even counts. However, relying on our phones or social media for such comfort can be potentially triggering and doesn’t provide a holistic sensory-engagement experience. Play around with different strategies to see what works for you. Just know that if you suffer from anxiety, stress or depression, you are not alone. Pretty much all of us have been there, whether we knew it or not. Visit the Wellness Center in Room 370 on the third floor of MacHall to access anxiety-management resources on campus or call (403) 210-9355. November 2017 | 35

2017-09-28 1:01 PM


Sports

Campus club challenges stigmas faced by children with disabilities Story by Christie Melhorn

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or most of my childhood, my mother was severely impacted by dementia. In that time, I viscerally experienced the struggles carried by people with mental and physical disabilities. I remember how her hands fumbled with a fork and knife, the strain of writing her signature and her emotional outbursts — and passerby’s confused, tense stares that always followed. While I deeply admired her fight and perseverance, her behavior often scared me. I was uneducated about how to help her and manage my feelings, which created a sense of estrangement that impacted my entire family. My experience is a common phenomenon that many are hesitant to openly discuss or acknowledge. According to Statistics Canada, almost 14 per cent of the Canadians ages 15 or older reported having a disability in 2013. Despite this, the increased social visibility of disabled individuals is still new but is being nurtured by many initiatives across Canada. One of these is the club Taking Strides at the University of Calgary, who are raising awareness of the capabilities of children with mental and physical disabilities through physical literacy programs. Taking Strides was founded in February 2016 by current club president Yegor

Korchemagin and fellow U of C students Tanner Shakpa and Phil Surmanowicz. Physical literacy programs develop people’s ability to read and conduct themselves in a particular environment with confidence and control. Taking Strides’ goal is to provide a low-cost, adaptive program of this nature to children with disabilities and offer personal development opportunities to student volunteers. “It’s a really unique opportunity and we want to share it with everyone so we can erase the stigma behind working with kids with disabilities. There’s this notion that we need to ‘fix’ kids with disabilities,” club vicepresident Jay Kim said. “A disability does not define a child. We don’t say ‘disabled child’ but instead ‘a child with a disability.’ They’re just normal kids and are honestly more preserving, resilient and tenacious.” “The community involvement volunteers experience develops really strong leadership skills. And that’s what we really want — for our volunteers to be leaders in the community and for advocacy,” Korchemagin added. The club offers one-on-one mentorship in dryland and aquatic activities for children ages four–13 with disabilities, the most common being autism, cerebral palsy and Down syndrome. Korchemagin says Taking Strides aims to improve chilldren’s confidence and

Photo by Richelle Ho

36 | The Gauntlet

social skills rather than mastery of physical tasks. “We’re not physiotherapy-based. We try to emphasize social interaction coupled with physical activity — it’s very important for developmental outcomes,” Korchemagin said. “We include group games so the kids can learn to interact, play and solve problems with others.” Kim says that working with Taking Strides inspired him to take his volunteer role further. “The first few sessions are very difficult. It seems like your child isn’t listening and you don’t know what they’re thinking,” Kim said. “But I’ve had a lot of kids who were super cold and stubborn in the beginning run up to me and hug me later on. I think that’s why a lot of volunteers come back — they feel a lot of fulfilment. There’s zero gain financially but the value of the relationships and experience you gain is not something you can quantify.” In its early stages, Taking Stride’s built their mentorship approach on basic principles of physical literacy. The club is now partnered with U of C’s Adaptive Physical Activity Program and Mount Royal University’s Children’s Adaptive Physical Activity Program who assist with the club’s structure. Students from all faculties are welcome to volunteer. Prior experience is not necessary, as Taking Strides offers thorough volunteer orientations. But Kormechagin and Kim say that the best preparation for the role is to be flexible and ready to adapt to the children’s needs. “A lot of our volunteers and even our executives didn’t have experience [working with children with disabilities] before Taking Strides,” Korchemagin said. “Our orientations explain the different disabilities and simulate situations volunteers might encounter. But every disability exists on a spectrum. No matter how much we teach, you won’t know what you’re kid is like until you start working with them. There are no formulas. But you learn to adapt and be supportive of the child.” The theme of adaptability is largely visible in Taking Strides’ dryland program. This involves one-on-one sessions


where volunteers guide their assigned child through different stations that develop gross or fine motor skills, such as throwing balls or building Lego. “We have volunteers adapt to their assigned child at each station so they can reach their fullest potential,” Kim said. “We won’t have a child who struggles with fine motor skills immediately try to throw a ball through a hoop. We want them to learn to hold the ball in their hand first. It’s a win-win because the kids get to be in an adaptive program and the volunteers get the experience of learning to adapt to a child.” Students are asked to apply to volunteer on the club website before the winter semester. This gives Taking Strides adequate time to interview and pair volunteers with children based on personality, possible experience and the expectations of the children’s parents. Accepted volunteers then dedicate 60– 90 minutes every weekend during the semester to the program, which count towards practicum hours for athletic

Photo by agilemkgt1

therapy and community rehabilitation students. As busy students themselves, the Taking Strides team is flexible with scheduling. Currently, dryland sessions are held at the Foothills Alliance Church and the aquatics program takes place at the Shouldice Aquatic Center. Korchemagin and Kim agree that the club’s collaborative and challenging environment facilitates significant personal and professional growth in many areas of

their lives. Particularly, they have learned to embrace learning as a difficult but constructive process. “Obviously not everything we’ve done has worked. Learning from failure is really important. This experience has made me a lot more empathetic and humble. I’ve learned lot about myself and how I handle life situations,” Korchemagin said. “My outside perspective of kids with disabilities was very robotic,” Kim added. “Our philosophy is that we have a lot to learn and won’t do everything perfectly so we want feedback to make it the best physical literacy program we can offer.” Korchemagin and Kim are in the process of transforming Taking Strides into an official charity. Their goal is to cement the club’s structure and organization to ensure the success of Taking Strides’ future participants. “We want to make it easy for the next people to transition into our roles because this organization needs to be prolonged for the next generation of students and kids,” Kim said. Email calgary@takingstrides.org to learn more about Taking Strides.

Photo by Louie Villanueva

November 2017 | 37


This month at the

School of Creative and Performing Arts Dance Montage Nov. 23 - 25 at the University Theatre

Metamorphoses Nov. 24 - Dec. 2 at the Reeve Theatre

UCalgary Global Village Band Nov. 25 at Eckhardt-GramattĂŠ Hall

scpa.ucalgary.ca


Humour

The real A-to-Zed list of why Calgary is ready for Amazon HQ2 Story by Derek Baker Photo by Mariah Wilson

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ou’ve probably heard by now that Amazon is looking for a home for their a second corporate headquarters. Many Calgarians are rejoicing at the possibility, especially during tough economic times. A recent post by the Calgary Economic Development organization came up with 23 reasons — one for every letter of the alphabet, from A-to-Zed — for why HQ2YYC should exist. We were inspired and wrote our very own. A: Acrostic Poems. As Calgarians, we learned how to make these in Grade 2. And they’re really creative. B: Bidding War. We will probably not win this, but we’re giving it our best shot. C: Corporate Welfare. Because why spend money on services for citizens? That’s not the Calgary way. Corporations are individuals, too. D: Denver. The crummy knock-off version of Calgary. Their hockey team is worse, too. E: Extortion. This is fine.

F: First-born. We will all give you this, Amazon, if you come to Calgary.

O: Orgasm. What the city will collectively have if you come here.

G: Grovelling. What we’re doing to curry your favour, oh mighty Amazon executives.

P: Pedophile’s Guide. Y’all once defended selling this book, but that’s okay.

H: Hippos. These animals from the zoo literally escaped last time Calgary flooded. Every office should have a pet hippo.

Q: Quiznos. Ten locations in Calgary, baby.

I: Internet. Yup, we have that here. How do you think we posted this? J: Johnny Jew from New York. Notable friend of Ward Sutherland, who is a member of the Calgary Economic Development board of directors and is city councillor for Ward 1. K: What is this letter? L: Laser-beam eyes. Every Calgarian has these implanted in their retinas when they are born.

R: Red couches. Modern interior design at its finest. S: Sensitivity training. We did not pay attention to this. T: Treatment of workers. Badly. U: Unions. These are very scary. V: Vacancy. We have almost 13-million square feet of office space available downtown. Please, take it all. W: I’ve never heard of this letter either.

M: This letter doesn’t exist.

X: Xenophobia: We’ve got it!

N: Nationalization. Alberta might nationalize weed. This should happen. Who knows — maybe they can ship it through Amazon Prime.

Y: Yaks. We do not have yaks here. Z: Zero. The per cent chance Amazon actually comes to Calgary.


Humour

New residence meal plan to consist solely of avocado toast Story by Devin Aggarwal Photo by Mariah Wilson

U

niversity of Calgary Food Services announced last week their proposal for a new way to get students to eat healthier on campus while still getting the most for their money — a meal plan consisting entirely of avocado toast. The plan will cost $5,000 per semester and includes access to a 24-hour all-you-can eat avocado toast buffet. “It’s a revolution in the residence meal-plan industry,” said Jacob Gaston, meal-plan coordinator and inventor of the avocado toast sandwich. “The millennial student spends money, the university makes money — and most importantly, a healthy and delicious superfood is delivered to be eaten.” The avocado toast meal plan will be a compulsory fee for every first-year in residence, who are obviously incapable of cooking for themselves. Gaston claimed avocado toast will bring students of all backgrounds together 40 | The Gauntlet

through their new-found love for the magnificent pairing of avocado and warm bread. Other university officials, however, are worried about this unification of the student body, citing the risk of potential criminal activity. “Since avocado is an expensive ingredient, it can be considered a valuable,” Campus Security chief Arnold Acardiño said. “The last time we tried to have avocado at the Dining Centre, it was hoarded by students. This created an avocado shortage and caused prices to rise. A few avocado dealers even managed to pay off their student loans solely by selling their avocados back to grocery stores.” To avoid a resurgence of the so-called “avocado black market,” Acardiño said university officials will introduce strict penalties against removing an avocado from the Dining Centre before consumption. “We’re going to monitor students as they eat. Any student caught removing the avocado from the toast will be demoted to radish toast. And nobody wants to eat radish toast,” Acardiño said.

Gaston agreed wholeheartedly with the punishment. “It’s avocado toast — not avocado AND toast,” Gaston said. “What kind of animal would disrespect my art by eating toast without avocado when there is perfectly good avocado toast available?” The new meal plan is also meant to keep students living on residence, as they no longer will be able to afford a house. Many students are on board with Gaston’s idea, saying they will purchase the plan in the future. The avocado toast reportedly received great feedback from the three students participating in a pilot program, claiming that their friends were “green with envy” about the contents of their meals. “I just really like the word avocado,” said Katie Green, a third-year Haskayne student. “Avocado. AVOOOOcado. AvoCAAADDOOOO. That’s enough for me. I’m sold.” The plan will become available next semester, after everyone makes New Year’s resolutions to eat more avocado.


Student falls asleep on CTrain, wakes up in new dimension Story by Evan Lewis Photo by Mariah Wilson

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ommuting to the University of Calgary can be a long and tedious experience, particularly for those travelling from the city’s outer suburbs. Even minor technical difficulties can extend the journey significantly. However, first-year student Sayid Sarraf’s commute was extended indefinitely when his train slipped through the seams of reality and into a realm between our dimension. “I was exhausted,” Sarraf told the Gauntlet over the phone through a hissing static that grew louder as he spoke. “I do this commute every day and fall asleep sometimes. Usually I’ll wake up just before my stop. Today, I woke up at a station perched on nothingness in an endless black void. So that kind of sucks.” Sarraf went on to describe the brooding, ethereal blip in space-time he now inhabits. “It’s like other train stations, except the departures boards just have question marks and Egyptian hieroglyphics instead of destinations. There’s nobody blasting bad rap music from their portable speaker here, either,” he said. Calgary Transit released an official statement to all students regarding Sarraf’s disappearance. The statement was tied to the legs of a flock of eyeless crows that swarmed campus. “Oh yeah, he’s probably trapped in that unexplored space between this dimension and the next or something. We don’t really

know why or how. We’re not scientists. We just run trains and stuff,” the statement read. “We definitely didn’t plan this as an elaborate sacrifice to our eldritch god. No way, man. No way.” Most students were understandably confused and unnerved by this message and its method of delivery. Some students suggested this occurrence may be linked to the ghastly tentacled creature recently seen working at the Unicard office. Sarah Li, a thirdyear student, described her encounter with the being. “When it replaced my UPass sticker with a shard of obsidian that whispered secrets to me in my sleep, I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it,” Li said. “I was glad to see the U of C hiring regardless of race, gender or how many sets of

gnashing teeth someone has.” When we attempted to reach the tentacled beast for comment, the Unicard office stated that “there is no such creature working with the office, nor has there ever been,” spoken in perfect unison from the mouths of several glazed-eyed employees. Despite being stuck in transcendental reality without any physical incarnation, Sarraf still remained conscientious of his studies. “Can you ask Jenna from my psych class to email me her notes from this morning? Oh, and tell my parents I love them and I’m sorry if I don’t come back from this place,” he said. No one has heard from Sarraf since. Those wishing to offer their condolences to his family are asked to send donations to the Calgary Interdimensional Support Society.

Simon and Haden – Lorena Morales

November 2017 | 41


Humour

What every sign should do this Scorpio season By Joie Atejira

Scorpio (Oct. 23 – Nov. 21) It’s your time of the year! We all know you’re going to start wearing less and going out more — just don’t start stripping in class.

Pisces (Feb. 19 – March 20) Lucky you! A Scorpio’s nudes will bestow upon your Snapchat. These are only sent once every 12 years, so enjoy it while you can.

Cancer (June 21 – July 22) Try your best not to be annoying and piss a Scorpio off. You would never want them to try their Scorpio Hulk Smash on your new iPhone X.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 – Dec. 21) You’ll be stuck taking care of a drunk Scorpio every Friday night for the next month. The Scorpio will thank you, but doesn’t really remember anything.

Aries (March 21 – April 19) Be careful, Aries. Partying with a Scorpio can be dangerous. Party moderately or you’ll end up with alcohol poisoning the night before your midterm and have to get your stomach pumped.

Leo (July 23 – Aug. 22) You might want to invest in noise-cancelling headphones — your Scorpio neighbour will throw a rave inside her dorm room for a month-long birthday celebration.

Capricorn (Dec. 22 – Jan. 19) Be wary of a Scorpio’s sweet words. Next thing you know, you’ll be hypnotized and your bank accounts will be wiped from buying the Scorpio pumpkin spice lattes every day.

Taurus (April 20 – May 20) Always keep your sunglasses on to prevent the hot Scorpio gaze from turning you into stone. Like Medusa, you may be swooned by their allure — but don’t give in.

Virgo (Aug. 23 – Sept. 22) You’ll befriend a Scorpio after weeks of camaraderie. Don’t expect them to spill any personal information, though. It’ll take three Scorpio Seasons before you find out their favourite colour.

Aquarius (Jan. 20 – Feb. 18) Give a Scorpio all the attention they need. Watch all of their Snapchat and Instagram stories and use only the right emojis. This season only lasts for a month — you can do this.

Gemini (May 21 – June 20) A Scorpio will ignore you for the whole month and you won’t even know what you did to them. Not even the flu shot can prevent the cold resulting from their icy glare.

Libra (Sept. 23 – Oct. 22) You’re convinced you are still suffering from a hex for dumping a Scorpio over text in 2010. Break the curse by offering your soul to a Scorpio for the entire month.

Filbert Cartoons – L. A. Bonté

42 | The Gauntlet


How to fight the mid-semester slump Story by Rachel Woodward

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e’re all familiar with the mid-semester slump. Midterms are underway and your mental health is seemingly as fragile as it ever has been. Don’t fret, though. With a few changes to your daily routine, you can make it through this low point. Stop caring about your appearance: You already wear the same pants for weeks at a time, so why stop there? Baby wipes count as a shower and mouthwash does the same thing as brushing your teeth. It doesn’t matter. Nobody cares. Or at least, that’s what you think. They do care. But it doesn’t matter. You’re so focused on staying alive at this point that you’ll wear pajamas and a diaper to school and call it avant-garde. Actually, the diaper thing isn’t a bad idea. Lose touch with those you care about: Trust me, all your friends are fed up with your late-night texts bailing on tomorrow’s plans. They know you’re just flaky. Now is the time to give up. If someone reaches out to grab a drink or have a study date, firmly let them know that you have no intentions of continuing the relationship. It’s easier this way. Plus, everyone knows that there is no greater satisfaction than isolation. Your 4.0 GPA will hold you at night. Stop sleeping: They say getting up early is a great way to kick-start your energy and give yourself a few extra hours to get stuff done. But with all

of your classes and readings piling up, you’ll be staying up pretty late these days anyway, so why not just cut out the middleman? Stop sleeping entirely and turn your life into a never-ending caffeine- and anxiety-filled nightmare that just won’t end. Good thing it’s getting cold out, because the cool, crisp air of winter is the only thing that will make you feel alive.

Drop out of school: This is the only way to get through your feelings of existential dread. Your Grade 12 social studies teacher was right — you’re a failure. There’s always next year. You did your best and that’s all that matters. Now you finally have time to pursue all those hobbies you gave up. Good luck out there!

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Nobody Nose – Taylor Benn

November 2017 | 43


Humour

Crossword: Wacky Weather October Solution:

By Derek Baker The Gauntlet now has a very serious and important weather section online tagged as “Da Weather.” Complete this crossword and learn about weather phenomena around the world! ACROSS: 4. _______ dioxide, an industrial emission along with nitrous oxide, is a large contributor to the formation of acid rain. 5. This type of cloud is thin, feathery and whispy. 7. The part of the water cycle in which water on the ground changes from a liquid to a gas. 11. This type of damaging precipitation forms by being blown up and down in44 | The Gauntlet

side a cloud, each time having a new layer added. 12. Contrary to popular belief, the shape of a rain drop isn’t the cartoonish drop shape. Rather, it’s more of a flattened version of this 3D shape. 13. This type of cloud is the large, foreboding variety that brings storms.

DOWN: 1. This phenomena is caused by a sudden increase in the air’s temperature and pressure, which produces a shock wave. 2. Hurricane _______ recently hit Scotland and the northern coast of Ireland. 3. The intensity of this weather phenomena is ranked based on the Fujita scale.

Congratulations to Lisa Park for being the first to complete last month’s crossword! Send in a photo of a completed crossword to humour@thegauntlet.ca to be congratulated in our next issue. 4. Snowflakes are actually ice crystals that form in clouds. They have this number of sides. 5. The part of the water cycle in which water vapour begins to form clouds and rain droplets. 6. When a tornado forms over a body of water, the resulting storm is called a __________. 8. This type of precipitation forms when raindrops freeze before they hit the ground. 9. This wind pattern — or rather, lack of a wind pattern — is located on both sides of the equator and is characterized by an area of low pressure. 10. This part of a hurricane is located in the centre of the storm, giving a brief moment of calm while it passes over.

The Gauntlet — November Magazine  
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